This study reviews what public health policy options are available to help reduce salt in the foods we eat as a means of reducing high blood pressure, its costs and health consequences; and studies which options may achieve the greatest consensus among policymakers.

Consuming too much salt (sodium chloride) puts Americans at risk for high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart attack and stroke. In 2010, U.S. medical and lost productivity costs from high blood pressure alone were more than $76 billion. Researchers estimate that reducing sodium in the U.S. food supply could prevent more than 100,000 U.S. deaths annually. The National Conference of State Legislatures and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention partnered on this project.