TORONTO - A new report calls on Health Canada to set category-by-category sodium reduction targets for foods, similar to what has been done recently in the United Kingdom.
The Centre for Science in the Public Interest says excess sodium in the Canadian diet likely kills more Canadians every year than any other chemical substance in food.
The Ottawa-based organization says sodium consumption is a leading cause of premature death due to heart attacks and strokes.
National co-ordinator Bill Jeffery says testing of products found a wide range of sodium content.
For example, he says restaurant french fries that were tested ranged from 40 milligrams to 555 milligrams of sodium in a standardized serving.
The group also wants food manufacturers and restaurants to begin cutting sodium levels on their own, even as Health Canada and a Sodium Working Group organized by the government continue to develop a sodium reduction strategy.