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Voluntary sodium reduction results released by Health Canada


January 15, 2018
By Bakers Journal

Ottawa – High sodium levels persist in most packaged foods suggests a report from Health Canada.

In 2012, in an effort to reduce the amount of sodium in the food supply, Health Canada established voluntary sodium reduction targets for 94 processed food categories following extensive consultation with the food industry. The department encouraged the food industry to achieve these targets by the end of 2016.

Today, Health Canada released an evaluation of the food industry’s efforts to meet these sodium reduction targets.

Results indicate sodium reductions in most categories of processed foods were modest, Health Canada said in a news release. Specifically, industry met the targets in 14 per cent of food categories. These results are an indication that additional measures are needed to reduce sodium in processed foods.

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Over the next few months, Health Canada will conduct an in-depth analysis of each category and will meet with industry stakeholders and scientific experts to better understand the challenges encountered in reducing sodium.

Health Canada said it is committed to reducing sodium in processed foods as part of its Healthy Eating Strategy.

Read the full results here of the evaluation here.

The department provided the following background on the issue of sodium reduction:

  • 25% of Canadians have high blood pressure.
  • 80% of Canadians and 93% of kids aged 4 to 8 years consume too much sodium.
  • In Canada, 77% of Canadians’ sodium intake is from processed food.
  • Top contributors to sodium intake in Canada include breads, processed meats, soups, cheese, mixed dishes, and sauces.