More Americans are saying that their food is too salty and they want action to reduce sodium.
Robust, clear science backs this consumer demand for less sodium in the food supply. It is our ultimate goal is to decrease sodium intake by 20% among Americans. That’s why we’re encouraging significant changes in the food industry and in government policy. You can help by joining our growing community!
So far, the sodium campaign has written more than 29,000 letters to 21 food companies, asking them to make healthier choices available.
Here are some campaign successes to date:
In the fall of 2017, advocates wrote more than 800 letters to the CEO of Panera, asking the restaurant to make healthier options a priority. In March 2017, Panera announced a commitment to make healthier options a priority, including:
- Educating their customers about the amount of added sugar in many beverages.
- Offering more beverage options with a lesser amount of sugar than the added sugar in a normal soda.
Campaign supporters sent almost 9,000 letters to seven food companies after the campaign released videos that show how healthy-looking food can be too salty and that processed and restaurant foods can be full of unwanted sodium.
Pledgers generated 6,000 letters to McDonalds, Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Duncan Hines, asking the companies to prioritize healthful offerings.
More than 7,700 letters were sent to eight food companies, asking them to support sodium reduction and the draft FDA voluntary sodium targets. AHA has since applauded FDA and encouraged further efforts on sodium reduction.
Advocates wrote more than 1,400 letters to the President of Mars Food to celebrate their leadership role in supporting the release of FDA voluntary sodium targets. As a part of their new commitments, Mars Food announced that they were taking a broad approach to making their foods healthier. Mars Food based their nutrition criteria on recommendations from the World Health Organization. They have committed to:
- Reduce sodium by an average of 20% by 2021
- Lessen added sugar in some sauces and meals by 2018
- Expand grain options to ensure that 50% of rice foods include whole grains and legumes
- Ensure that tomato-based foods include at least one serving of veggies
Mars also highlighted their support for the FDA to release targets on how much sodium is appropriate for different foods, building on the recommendations from this year’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Releasing these standards would help all companies have clear goals to work toward. And, if food companies adopted voluntary targets, this would ultimately level the playing field and provide consumers with better food choices. We agree!
More than 2,100 letters were sent to Kraft-Heinz, asking to make healthier options a priority. The company has shown an interest in sodium reduction in the past, and hearing from concerned consumers like you help motivate them to keep up their efforts.
Supporters gave kudos to General Mills for achieving their 20% sodium reduction goal in 7 of 10 food categories. AHA sodium pledgers sent more than 1,400 letters to the CEO of General Mills through this action!
Pledgers supported sodium improvements in school meals made by Dominos, Schwann’s, and Revolution Foods.
Among many companies, Revolution Foods, Schwan’s, and Domino’s are offering lower sodium foods for school lunches. Revolution Foods even has a pizza that meets sodium standards targeted for the 2022 school year! Their leadership is helping to ensure that our children eat healthier. Now, that’s something we can be happy about.
Supporters sent love to NYC as the Board of Health voted unanimously in support of the proposal to place a warning icon on restaurant menu items exceeding 2,300 mg of sodium. Almost 25 percent of the sodium in Americans’ diets comes from restaurant foods. Most of that sodium is added by the restaurant or its ingredient supplier before it gets to your table. We deserve the right to choose how much sodium we eat. However, that decision is often being made for us by the food industry in some restaurant and prepackaged foods. Supporters reached more than 400,000 people on social media through this action.
Pledgers celebrated with us when Aramark and AHA announced they are working together as part of the Healthy for Life 20 by 20 Initiative.
AHA and Aramark are working together on menu commitments to reduce calories, saturated fat and sodium levels by 20%, and increase consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains by 20%. Now, that’s something we can be 100% happy about.
Supporters sent more than 1,000 letters to Nestlé after the food company announced it would reduce sodium in some of its frozen pizzas and snacks, without affecting their taste! The multinational food company Nestlé announced it would reduce sodium in some of its frozen pizzas and snacks. The sodium rollbacks will affect more than 250 of the company’s products sold in the U.S., including some items under the familiar brand names DiGiorno®, Hot Pockets®, and Lean Pockets®.
Supporters signed a petition to lower the high salt levels in school meals. Public health celebrated a major victory when the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was signed into law in 2010. For the first time in a generation, the nutrition standards for foods served in schools were updated to reflect the latest nutrition science. Given that most children get 50 percent or more of their calories in schools, making sure these foods are healthy is critical to their health and wellbeing. At least 36,000 supporters took action and signed this petition.
What will members of the sodium campaign do next? Find out by visiting our action center and joining our growing community.