Earlier today, Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced that he’s been working with 21 different food companies, including Heinz, Starbucks, Au Bon Pain, and Butterball, to reduce the amount of sodium in pre-packaged foods.
Though it’s the most recent publicized battle of the mayor’s three-term war on food, Bloomberg actually announced the plan in 2008 when he partnered up with the National Salt Reduction Initiative in an effort to reduce the amount of salt in food across the entire country.
In a press release, Bloomberg noted that most Americans consume twice as much sodium as they should, which leads to and increase in blood pressure and the risk of heart disease or stroke. And 80 percent of salt in our diet comes from either eating out or eating pre-packaged food, hence the partnership with food distributors. In 2010, New York set for voluntary guidelines restaurants and pre-packaged foods, and the initiative has worked. The goal is to ultimately reduce salt in our food by a quarter by next year.
“Prior to our National Salt Reduction Initiative, there was no comprehensive approach to lowering sodium in foods, and many questioned whether companies would step up to meet a voluntary pledge,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “These companies have demonstrated their commitment to removing excess sodium from their products and to working with public health authorities toward a shared goal — helping their customers lead longer, healthier lives.”
This, of course, isn’t Bloomberg’s first foray onto our plates. The three-term mayor has limited the size of sodas in New York, banned trans fat from restaurant meals and mandated food chains to post calorie counts on their menus.