Most Americans have dietary sodium intakes that exceed the recommended limits, which is a risk factor for hypertension and CVD. The share of total food expenditures for foods prepared and consumed away from home (FAFH) is ∼55%. These foods are consumed at various venues, including restaurants, workplaces, schools and universities, military installations, and assisted living/long-term care facilities. The food service industry has dealt with and continues to deal with various challenges in its attempt to reduce the sodium content in the foods that they prepare and sell. Despite these challenges, there have been various successful strategies used to reduce the sodium content in FAFH. This perspective article provides an overview of the challenges and strategies that have been used by the food service industry to reduce sodium in FAFH, as well as future sodium reduction strategies. Because of the widespread consumption of FAFH, implementing such future strategies could have a profound impact on the sodium content of the American diet.
This work was supported by IAFNS’ Sodium in Foods and Health Implications Committee.