UGA researchers say nutrition labeling for sodium is not effective

When it comes to reading labels we may look for the calorie count, but most Americans pay no attention to the sodium, according to research from the University of Georgia.

Ninety percent of Americans eat more than the recommended amount of sodium per day. The Food and Drug Administration recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.

In the UGA study they looked at the link between regularly reading nutrition labels and consumption of high sodium foods. The results showed nutrition labeling doesn't work, at least when it comes to sodium.

“Currently we don’t know which interventions are most effective to reduce sodium intake in the U.S. population,” Donglan “Stacy” Zhang, assistant professor of health policy and management at UGA’s College of Public Health and lead author on the study, tells WSB.

“And the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act is the only policy in the U.S. focusing on informing consumers about sodium content on most packaged foods.”

She says the study points to the need for better label designs.

The current label can be challenging for some consumers with limited education or those who don't speak English. She says visual or color coded labels may be easier to understand.

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