food politics

‘National Nutrition Database’ Should Exist, Says DOH

It's a helluva drug.

It's a helluva drug.Photo: Photo: iStockPhoto; Creative Commons

To accompany a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine that suggests high-sodium and low-potassium diets lead to increased heart disease and mortality (not to mention the fact that we're all powerless against salt's charms), the NYC Department of Health has penned an editorial arguing that the federal government should create a "public and product-specific national nutrition database." Thirty-five other public state, city, and other health organizations have signed off on this request; the proposed database would require manufacturers to submit nutritional data for their products, along with each time a new product was introduced or its recipe changed, resulting in an up-to-date, searchable system. All of the organizations making the request are part of a public-private group focused on reducing sodium levels by 20 percent in five years in both packaged and restaurant food, and the Health Department argues that better access to data will lead to better nutritional choices. Definitely beats all sorts of past random proposals, like the bill that would charge $1000 for "each use of salt" in restaurants. [DOHMH, Related]

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