Conference Examines How New Sodium Recommendations Affect Public and Food Industry

Sign up for Spring 2011 Current Issues in Nutrition Online Conference

AMES, Iowa -- From the salt shaker on the table to the milligrams listed on food labels, sodium abounds in the American diet. Current Issues in Nutrition, a two-part online conference from Iowa State University Extension and the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, takes a closer look at this ever-present seasoning and health concern.

Shake the Salt: New Sodium Recommendations and Implications” will address the rationale behind the new lower sodium recommendations from the Institute of Medicine and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, said Sarah L. Francis, an ISU Extension nutrition specialist and assistant professor in Iowa State’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Speakers also will discuss the implications for the general public, health care professionals and the food industry.

The conference begins with presentations already available online, Francis said. Registered participants may view the presentations online anytime after they have registered. The conference concludes with a live webcast question and answer session Thursday, April 28, from noon to 1:30 p.m. CDT. Register online at The registration fee is $35 per person.

Registered participants will be emailed instructions for viewing the online presentations and participating in the live question and answer session.

Francis said the conference is of particular interest to registered dietitians, nutritionists, family consumer science educators, certified dietary managers and health care professionals.

“I expect a lively discussion about how the food industry is responding to the new sodium recommendations. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines suggest a sodium recommendation of 1,500 mg daily applies to half of the U.S. population, including children and most adults; the Institute of Medicine suggests the recommendation applies to 70 percent of the U.S. population,” Francis said.

Featured speakers for the conference are Lawrence Appel, MD, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Richard Black, vice president of nutrition and chief nutrition officer with Kraft Foods Inc.

Appel conducts clinical research focused on preventing hypertension and cardiovascular and kidney diseases using both drug and nutrition-based approaches. He will discuss the scientific rationale as well as strategies for reducing sodium intake throughout the U.S. population.

Black leads corporate-wide nutrition programs at Kraft Foods. He’ll discuss sodium’s roles and functions in processed foods and the challenges in reducing sodium in the processed food supply. He’ll also discuss the balance of government and industry roles in setting and achieving sodium targets.