AMA Wages War on Salt

June 14, 2006

The American Medical Association has declared war on salt.

The AMA says the average American consumes between two and three times the recommended daily amount of sodium and that leads to poor health, including heart attacks and hypertension. It says restaurants and food producers can help by cutting the salt content in their food by half over the next ten years.

Colleen McShane, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association, isn't pleased with the AMA recommendation.

"We think that AMA is doing a great job in bringing awareness, but to come into the restaurant, to come into the small business and tell them what to put on their menu. We would prefer that the market drive it."

The AMA concludes its annual meeting in Chicago today.

A spokesperson says the association didn't ask its hotel to provide attendees with a low-salt menu, as this new directive was not yet in place.