The health risks such as stroke, high blood pressure, water retention etc associated with excess salt intake are well known. What is also well known is the fact that on an average, people eat far more salt than they need to. Whereas most of us need just one teaspoon of the stuff a day, most of us actually eat about a teaspoon and a half each day.
The reason that it is difficult to reduce the amount of salt we consume is because so much of it is added to the processed foods that we buy off the supermarket shelves or eat in restaurants.
The fact is that salt makes food more palatable and tasty and manufacturers are therefore reluctant to reduce salt (sodium) content of their foods for fear of lowered sales or consumer backlash due to altered taste of their product.
Since the food manufacturing industry has not done enough to self regulate how much sodium is added, the FDA is now considering a proposal that could direct manufacturers to reduce the amount of salt they add to their products and to put a ceiling of the amount of salt allowed to be added. This may be a long drawn out and gradual process, but may be a welcome move.