CMAJ Study: Canadian Restaurant Foods Contain High Sodium Levels

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OTTAWA — A new study by the CMAJ Open journal shows high sodium levels in Canadian restaurant food.

The report finds that the sodium level in most food served in Canadian restaurants exceeds the daily recommended intake, and during the past three years, little change has been made to reduce the sodium in said foods.

“From 2010 to 2013 sodium levels decreased in 30.1 per cent of foods, increased in 16.3 per cent and remained unchanged in 53.6 per cent. The number of menu items with unacceptably high amounts of sodium did not change. This study shows that industry efforts to voluntarily decrease sodium levels in restaurant foods in Canada have produced inconsistent results,” writes Mary L’Abbé, study author and chair of the nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto.

Next month, a vote is expected on a private member’s bill, which, if passed, would require food manufacturers to meet sodium reduction targets.

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