"We believe we can make a big impact working with the industry to bring sodium levels down, because the current level of consumption really is higher than it should be for health," Hamburg said.
It is still unclear when FDA will release the guidelines, despite its 2013 goal to have them completed this year.
Hamburg said she hoped the agency would be able to publicly discuss the issue "relatively soon." Americans eat about 1.5 teaspoons of salt daily, about a third more than the government recommends for good health and enough to increase the risk of high blood pressure, strokes and other problems. Most of that sodium is hidden inside common processed foods and restaurant meals.