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Monitoring Sodium Content in Processed Foods in Argentina 2017–2018: Compliance with National Legislation and Regional Targets

  • allemandi, lorena
  • tiscornia, maria victoria
  • guarnieri, leila
  • castronuovo, luciana
  • martins, enrique
Publication Date
Jun 28, 2019
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Sodium intake in Argentina has been estimated to be at least double the dose of 2000 mg/day recommended by WHO, mostly coming from processed foods. Argentina is one of the few countries in the world that have regulated sodium content in certain food products. This study presents an assessment of sodium content in a selection of food groups and categories as reported in the nutrient information panels. We surveyed 3674 food products, and the sodium content of 864 and 1375 of them was compared to the maximum levels according to the Argentinean law and the regional targets, respectively. All food categories presented high variability of sodium content. Over 90% of the products included in the national sodium reduction law were found to be compliant. Food groups with high median sodium, such as condiments, sauces and spreads, and fish and fish products, are not included in the national law. In turn, comparisons with the lower regional targets indicated that almost 50% of the products analyzed had sodium contents above the recommended values. This evidence suggests that enhancing sodium reduction in processed foods may be a necessity for public health objectives and it is also technically feasible in Argentina.

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