The Facts About Sodium
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day. Adults with prehypertension and hypertension would particularly benefit from blood pressure lowering. For these individuals, further reduction to 1,500 mg per day can result in even greater blood pressure reduction. However, studies show that on average U.S. adults consume more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day. An estimated 77 percent of this sodium comes from processed and restaurant foods. High sodium consumption is a major contributor to high blood pressure, a leading cause of stroke, coronary heart disease, heart attack, and heart and kidney failure in the United States. Research has shown though that reducing the average sodium intake of the adult population to 1,500 milligrams per day could prevent 16 million cases of high blood pressure and save an estimated $26 billion per year in health care costs. People who reduce their sodium consumption benefit from improved blood pressure and reduce their risk for developing other serious health problems.
What We Are Doing About It
In September 2010, NYS Department of Health was one of five states and communities to receive funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to partner with Broome and Schenectady counties to implement a Sodium Reduction in Communities program. This program created healthier food environments to reduce sodium intake through public health application and implementation of population-based sodium reduction strategies related to policy, system, and environmental change. In Schenectady, Schenectady County Public Health Services in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Schenectady County worked to reduce the sodium content in meals served at senior centers, through home-delivered meals, and at senior residential facilities. We also partnered with Schenectady County privately owned restaurants to decrease the sodium content in their meals. Our partners already use lots of fresh foods, minimize their use of processed foods and when possible try to meet the dietary needs of customers.
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