Maine CDC Press Release

April 4, 2012

Maine CDC Urges Monitoring of Sodium Intake
Less than a 10 percent reduction could produce life-saving results

AUGUSTA – According to a study released in 2010 by Stanford University, less than a 10 percent reduction in sodium in a person’s diet could help many Americans avoid heart attacks and fatal strokes.

This April, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Cardiovascular Health Program began a campaign to raise awareness of foods that are high in sodium and the importance of monitoring how much to reduce sodium consumption.

According to a study done by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American adult eats about 3,300 milligrams of sodium each day. That is at least 1,000 milligrams more than people should be eating. Most sodium is found in packaged, processed and restaurant foods.

“Oftentimes, foods high in sodium do not taste salty,” said Dr. Sheila Pinette, Director of Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “If we can help Maine people better understand what’s in their food and help them make healthier choices, we can reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes across the state.”

The foods that are the biggest sources of sodium may be surprising. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, bread and rolls are the top sources of sodium in the American diet, followed by cold cuts, pizza, poultry and soups.

Maine CDC has developed fact sheets, cards that can be used to monitor sodium and has produced public service announcements that will air on radio.

More information on how to reduce the risks of heart attack and stroke is available online at http://www.mainehearthealth.org

About Maine CDC Cardiovascular Health Program
Maine CDC Cardiovascular Health Program’s vision is "Heart Healthy and Stroke-Free in Maine." The goal of the program is to reduce death, disability, and healthcare costs due to heart disease and stroke in Maine. The program aims to ensure Mainers know how to: control high blood pressure (hypertension); control high blood cholesterol; identify signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke and the need to call 911; improve emergency response for heart attack and stroke; improve quality of care related to cardiovascular disease prevention and control; and eliminate disparities related to cardiovascular disease prevention and control. More information is available online at http://www.mainehearthealth.org.