The average Canadian takes in 3400 mg of sodium per day. This is more than twice as much sodium as is needed for good health. Men, women and children are equally at risk for high sodium intakes. High intake of sodium increases the risk of high blood pressure. This can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. A Sodium Reduction Strategy for Canada was released in July 2010 with recommendations for action.
Dietitians support a population health strategy for reducing sodium intakes among Canadians. Dietitians of Canada supports the recommendations of the Sodium Working Group related to the:
- Food supply
- Awareness and Education
- Research and
- Monitoring and Evaluation.
The Recommendations call for action at all levels of government, by the food industry, non-government organizations and the public and include:
regulatory measures to reduce sodium if voluntary targets are not met by the food industry
transparent monitoring and public reporting of the industry’s progress toward defined targets
strengthening Canada’s nutrition labelling requirements including more uniform serving sizes and changing the % Daily Value for sodium to 1500 mg from 2400 mg
reporting of nutrition information on restaurant menu items in a consistent and easy to access manner
a comprehensive sodium monitoring and evaluation plan which includes monitoring the sodium intakes of Canadians.
January 2013 - DC supports Bill C-460- The Sodium Reduction Strategy for Canada Act along with other national health associations including the Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Nurses Association, Canadian Pharmacists Association and the Centre for Science in the Public Interest.
January 2012- Along with 17 other organizations, we signed a letter to the Prime Minister calling for federal action on the recommendations of the Sodium Working Group
We were a member of the Sodium Working Group that outlined a national strategy to reduce the population average sodium intake from 3400 mg to 2300 mg by 2016.
We worked with the BC Ministry of Health, Health Canada and EatRight Ontario to develop consumer-tested messages to support Canadians to take action on reducing their sodium intake. These messages are available on a set of fact sheets.
We are advocating for a national database of Canadian foods to support the monitoring of the food supply and the nutritional intake of Canadians.
We are working with the provinces and territories to support the school community and workplaces to develop and implement nutrition guidelines including nutrition labelling on restaurant menus to aid consumers in making better choices.
We link consumers with dietitians to support their goals toward achieving and maintaining good health including our Find a Dietitian database and support of dietitian call centres including EatRight Ontario.
- Dietitians of Canada monitors activities in Health Canada's Healthy Eating Strategy, launched in October 2016. In January 2017, we responded to Health Canada's proposal for Front of Package labelling, which includes identification of pre-packaged foods high in sodium. For DC members, we also published an update on Sodium reduction in Canada’s food system in January 2017, including information about upcoming actions from Health Canada.
Updated February 7, 2017.