The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a September 2014 Vital Signs report claiming that nine in 10 U.S. children “eat more sodium than recommended.” Noting that children ages 6-18 years consume an average of 3,300 mg sodium per day, CDC estimates that 43 percent of children’s daily sodium intake “comes from just 10 common food types: pizza; bread and rolls; cold cuts and cured meats; sandwiches like cheeseburgers; snacks, such as chips; cheese; chicken patties, nuggets, and tenders; pasta mixed dishes, such as spaghetti with sauce; Mexican mixed dishes, such as burritos and tacos; and soup.”

The agency is urging the federal government to apply new nutrition standards that aim to halve the sodium content of some foods served in schools by 2022. It also asks food manufacturers to replace sodium “with alternatives like spices, herbs, and vegetables,” and to gradually reduce the sodium content of their products. “Most sodium is already in food before you buy it or order it,” notes CDC. “About 65% comes from store foods, 13% from fast food and pizza restaurant foods, and 9% from school cafeteria foods.”