Dallas, Texas - American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments today on the bold steps by Mars Food to reduce sodium in their products by 20% by 2021:

“The American Heart Association applauds Mars Food for being the first food giant to call on the FDA to release voluntary sodium targets which could ultimately save lives and billions of dollars in healthcare costs. Clear science links excess sodium intake to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and kidney disease. Americans deserve the right to choose how much sodium is in their foods. Right now, nearly 80% of the sodium Americans eat is hidden in packaged and restaurant foods. Fortunately, there is a growing trend among food companies to reduce sodium. Almost 30 major food companies, like Mars Food, are working to reduce sodium in many of their products. The AHA supports the FDA’s release of voluntary sodium targets, because they will level the playing field among food companies and empower the public to make healthier food choices.”