People need help to make healthy food choices

February 08, 2011

In an editorial, you ask whether the federal dietary guidelines have to be so complicated ("More advice on what to eat," Feb. 6). You answered your own question through the examples you cite — yes they do. Take sodium: Your advice to "cook more meals at home" won't reduce sodium intake to 1,500 mg when cooking to many people means heating up carry-out, prepared foods and convenient "just add the main ingredient" mixes at home.

The National Salt Reduction Initiative, a partnership of cities, companies and national health organizations such as the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, has targets to guide salt reduction in packaged food and restaurant food for committed companies such as Snyder's of Hanover and Au Bon Pain. This is a much surer way to help people meet federal sodium guidelines.

Yes, people need simple guidelines for choosing the food they eat, but let's support them by making the right choice the easy choice.

Peggy Yen, Baltimore

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