CBCnews

Hold the salt

First it was a ban on trans fats. Then it was calorie counts on menus. Now, the ever-feisty New York City is taking on the latest nutritional evil: salt.

It's just a proposal and it's still in the draft stages, but already the city's plans to seek a 25 per cent reduction in salt in packaged and restaurant food within five years has set everyone a-chatter.

This is, after all, the same city that brought us the shocking video of a man tossing back a glass full of thick, yellow, gooey fat in an effort to raise awareness about the pounds you can pack on from pop.

Yet again, all eyes are on New York. But they're not the first to tackle the salt problem. In fact, their plan is modeled on a similar effort in Britain, where it was also voluntary and tackled 85 categories of processed foods, such as ready-made meals, breakfast cereals and bacon.

Canada, meanwhile, is still mulling salt restrictions. We've been aware for quite some time that Canadians' sodium intake is too high: a Statistics Canada report in 2007 found most people in all age groups were overdoing it.

The federal health minister responded, setting up a working group on sodium reduction. But its action plan isn't expected until the end of 2010. And when it does finally come, it will likely only include voluntary restrictions -- in the same vein as Britain.

What do you think? What should the Canadian government do about salt consumption?

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