Target: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Goal: Thank New York for leading a salt reduction initiative for restaurants and food production
One of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s many health initiatives appears to be paying off. The amount of salt in a number of foods has decreased over the past three years, coinciding with a voluntary initiative put forward by Michael Bloomberg and the city of New York. This effort to take unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients out of food is a needed step towards lowering the extreme obesity rates and improving heart health for Americans.
In 2010, in an effort to get people eating healthier, the city announced voluntary salt reduction guidelines for restaurants as well as food manufacturers. The campaign aimed to reduce salt levels in foods by 25% by 2014, as well as consumers’ overall sodium intake by 20%.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that Americans consume, on average, around 3,300 milligrams of sodium a day. Federal dietary guidelines suggest no more than 2,300 milligrams, and the American Heart Association suggest 1,500 milligrams or less. Excessive sodium intake has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes.
This campaign’s success is starting to be seen. Kraft American cheese singles have 18% less salt than in 2010. Heinz ketchup is 15% less salty as well, and Ragu Old World Style pasta sauce has reduced sodium by 20%. All told, 21 companies have met targets so far. Mayor Bloomberg deserves to be thanked for this effort to make the foods we consume healthier.
Dear Mayor Michael Bloomberg,
I am writing you this letter today to thank you for your focus on health during your time as mayor. In particular, I would like to thank you for your voluntary sodium reduction initiative. Americans on average consume 3,300 milligrams of sodium a day, far beyond the federal suggestion of 2,300 milligrams. By urging restaurants and food manufacturers in New York City to cut down on salt, you have made it easier to eat healthier in New York City.
The success of this campaign is starting to be seen, as you announced last month. I appreciate all the work that you have done to make this important step towards a healthier America.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: L. Marie via Flickr