A Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) report examining the sodium contents of popular restaurant meals has urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set “reasonable limits on the amounts of sodium that can be used in various categories of food.” Although the 17 restaurant chains under review reduced sodium in their menu items by an average of 6 percent between 2009 and 2013, the consumer group singled out some companies for allegedly increasing sodium in the sample meals analyzed for the report. In particular, the report names the top 10 “saltiest meals in America” for both adults and children, noting that “79 percent of the 81 adult meals in the study still contained more than 1,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium,” with some meals topping out at 5,000 mg of sodium.

“For far too long, the FDA has relied on a voluntary, wait-and-see approach when it comes to reducing sodium in packaged and restaurant food,” said CSPI Executive Director Michael Jacobson in a July 2, 2014, press release. “If chains… are actually raising sodium levels in some meals, FDA’s current approach clearly isn’t working.”