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Salt Stories: Resources for covering sodium in our food

Salt Stories: Resources for covering sodium in our food

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Yikes: "Analysts estimate that population-wide reductions in sodium could prevent more than 100,000 deaths annually."

That's from a new Institute of Medicine report on ways to cut salt in Americans' diets. This is a great story for your community as it deals with nutrition, access to healthy food and behavior. It's got the "nanny state" angle ("you'll pry my Pringles from my cold dead hands"). It's not hard to localize, either.

Some coverage from today: CNN's story, and the Washington Post's story  on reported FDA plans to regulate salt in processed foods. (In a statement, the FDA backed off on those plans. )

Here are some resources if you're covering the report or related nutrition issues:

RAND Sodium Study: "Potential Societal Savings From Reduced Sodium Consumption in the U.S. Adult Population," published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, Sept/Oct 2009. Great background here.

The Salt Institute: The lobbying group for salt producers.

CDC Salt Page: This site of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control provides good background information and research on the amount and effect of sodium in our diets.

Community Nutrition Mapping Project: If you're looking for state-level nutrition data, this is the place to go. This interactive map from the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides state-by-state information about nutrient intakes, healthy eating patterns, physical activity and body weight, food security and demographics.

What's In The Foods You Eat: This USDA search tool offers nutritional information, including sodium levels, for 13,000 foods commonly eaten in the United States. It's a good resource to offer your audience.

Share your thoughts, and any good coverage you've seen on this topic, in the comments below. You need to be a registered member of Center for Health Journalism Digital to leave a comment, so if you haven't joined yet, click here. It's easy, quick and free. You can follow us on Twitter, too, @ReportingHealth.

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