CDC: Restaurant Food Chock Full of Sodium

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-01_6819845d05.jpgJiri Hera/Thinkstock (ATLANTA) -- A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that a single meal from a restaurant or fast food joint can potentially contain 2,300 milligrams of sodium. Since the report entitled "Menu to Mouth: Opportunities for Sodium Reduction in Restaurants" says Americans on average dine out four to five times a week, they are obviously overdosing on sodium, a leading cause of hypertension that can result in heart disease and stroke.

Overall, restaurants are responsible for about 25 percent of Americans' sodium intake.

The main problem with restaurant food, according to the CDC, is that it's already loaded with sodium before diners even pour on their own helping of salt.

Therefore, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement, "When restaurants rethink how they prepare food and the ingredients they choose to use, healthier options become routine for customers."

As an example, Frieden pointed to a program instituted by Philadelphia's health department, which worked with the city's Chinese restaurants. After nine months, participating restaurants lowered sodium content in meals by 20 percent on average.

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