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Monday, July 10, 2006

Pass On The Salt--And The Soda

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently met in Chicago for the 2006 AMA Annual Meeting, held June 10-14. There they considered a fresh round of health policy proposals. This year’s hot nutritional topic: Americans’ unhealthy eating habits, with a special focus on excessive salt and soda consumption.

AMA highlighted research that shows most Americans consume two to three times the recommended healthy amount of sodium. An estimated 75 to 80 percent of that daily intake comes from processed and restaurant foods.

In response, the AMA recommended policy changes that include urging the Food and Drug Administration to regulate sodium limits in processed and restaurant foods; and reduce the amount of sodium in processed foods, fast food products, and restaurant meals by a minimum of 50 percent over the next decade.

The group also considered a soda tax proposal—a “fat tax”—that would impose a penalty on sugar-sweeted soft drinks, to help curb consumption, and raise revenue for anti-obesity programs. (The proposal didn't pass.)

These changes don’t need to be 'official' for you to make adjustments in your own lifestyle. Limit your intake of processed and restaurant food to reduce sodium levels. Stock your fridge with fresh, raw, unprocessed, and organic food, and cook at home more often.

And for all you pop junkies out there, here’s a refresher course on how to kick the soda habit. Stick to this healthy lifestyle, and you’ll be in better shape before the 2007 AMA Annual Meeting even begins.


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