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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Salt, Salt, Salt! 16 Companies Voluntarily Reduce Sodium

I'm not sure why, but I can't stop staring at pictures of KFC's newest Frankenfood creation, the Double Down. There's something about this glob of fat and sodium that I find mesmerizing.

Maybe it's a warning from my subconscious: This is not what food should look like.

The real killer in the Double Down is the sodium--1380 milligrams, or 60% of the recommended daily allowance. And that's just the "sandwich" alone.

Sodium may not be the sexiest wellness topic, but it has certainly been in the news lately. Just last week, the Washington Post reported that the FDA is considering limiting sodium levels over time. (If you're a regular follower of Corporate Wellness Insights, you know that we've blogged before about the push for tighter regulation of sodium content in food. One study found that simply adhering to the recommended daily allowance of sodium could save billions in reduced health care costs.)

If you're not a fan of the direct regulatory approach, you'll be happy to read at Time Magazine's Wellness blog that 16 companies (Subway, Boar's Head, Au Bon Pain, Heinz, and others) have voluntarily agreed to reduce the sodium content in some of their packaged foods. Let's hope others follow suit.

So, how does all this relate to corporate wellness? To answer that question, take a quick field trip to the nearest vending machine and consider what your colleagues are munching on right now. Too much sodium leads to high blood pressure (a condition many of your employees may not even know they have), and that means elevated health costs.

Health fair season will be here before you know it, so it's a good idea to start planning now. If you've never offered a biometric screening or a health education seminar, we can help. Drop us a line...before your employees Double Down!

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