January 21, 2010 --
When it comes to public health threats, smoking and obesity are well known. Now, a new report concludes, salt needs to be added to the list. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, slashing salt from our diets could save as many as 92,000 lives each year. Researchers came up with that number after calculating on a computer the benefit of cutting 3 grams of salt per day.
The government recommends people consume no more than about 1 teaspoon of salt daily. But, researchers say, we actually eat about twice that amount each day.
The problem isn't necessarily what we shake on our food, but what's been added to everything from take-out pizzas to breakfast cereals.
Researchers say it will take public health initiatives to force companies to lower sodium content.