Health Commissioner Goes After Salt

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Thomas Frieden — the health commissioner responsible for banning smoking and trans fats, and forcing restaurants to post calorie counts — is taking questions over at Diner’s Journal. One thing he’ll have to answer to: his latest crusade to gradually lower salt levels in packaged foods and mass-produced restaurant meals. According to the Times, most people consume twice as much as the teaspoon of salt that’s recommended per day, in part because manufacturers like Kraft (which has spent $20 million in sodium-reduction research) use sodium to create structure and ward off pathogens. The primary offenders: cheese, breakfast cereals, bread, macaroni and noodle products, cake mixes, condiments, and soup. Frieden is focusing on the big chains rather than the Danny Meyers — at first via diplomacy, then by legislation if necessary. No word on whether the Top Chef judges will be banned from eliminating cheftestants because they didn’t use enough of the stuff.

Throwing the Book at Salt [NYT]
Q and A With Thomas Frieden [Diner's Journal/NYT]