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New Research Reveals Restaurant Customers Prefer Menu Items with Less Sodium


FDA’s proposed voluntary sodium guidelines can be embraced, thanks to new research on consumer preference.

Courtesy of Healthy Dining

By: Anjali Patel, M.P.H., R.D.
July 8, 2014

New research led by Healthy Dining and funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), reveals that restaurant guests accept, and in most cases even prefer, menu choices that are reduced in sodium content. Healthy Dining’s registered dietitians and research team reduced salt and other high-sodium ingredients in several popular menu items at four large restaurant chains and tested the menu items with 1,200 frequent restaurant customers.

The NIH-funded research was conducted by Healthy Dining in collaboration with research advisors, David L. Katz, MD, MPH, founding director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University, Valentine Yanchou Njike, MD, MPH, assistant director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University, and Harry Lawless, PhD, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University.

“The results of the Healthy Dining research are especially significant in light of the recent news that the Food and Drug Administration is preparing to issue voluntary guidelines to restaurants to lower sodium levels,” said Anita Jones-Mueller, MPH, Healthy Dining president and founder. “The good news is that many restaurants are already making impressive strides in reducing sodium content, and the research we are conducting is demonstrating that consumers are rating menu items with less sodium as high as – and in most cases higher than – than the current versions in terms of overall flavor.” Read More