READ THE LABELS –  

March 25, 2022 – Front-of-package warning labels that alert consumers to unhealthy levels of sodium, as pioneered by Chile and now implemented in Israel, Mexico and elsewhere, give consumers the information they need to make healthier food choices. Even more important, they motivate food manufacturers to reduce sodium levels to avoid a symbol emblazoned on the front of their packaging that says their product is unhealthy. Current legal rulings in the U.S. make it unlikely that, without new legislation, front-of-pack warnings would survive well-funded resistance from the food industry.

Even if we succeed in reducing sodium consumption, more than 35 million Americans will have uncontrolled hypertension, and many of them will suffer from costly and preventable strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure. For the past four years, my organization, Resolve to Save Lives, has worked alongside partners in 41 countries to help scale up effective treatment of hypertension. We learned how it can be done from world-leading health systems such as Kaiser Permanente, which controls hypertension in nearly 90% of its members who have the condition, and countries such as Canada, which has controlled blood pressure in 60-70% of all people with the condition in the country. By comparison, 45% of Americans with hypertension and 15% of people worldwide have it controlled. 

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