Chronic Disease Chronicler:
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August: Sodium Reduction Month
Sodium Resources
Chronic Disease Prevention Toolkit
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August: Sodium Reduction Month

CDC's Million Hearts Collaborative is focusing on sodium reduction for the month of August. Excessive salt intake results in high blood pressure and is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the nation's leading cause of death. Reducing the amount of salt people consume requires action by individuals, the private sector, and government. Below are a list of resources that focus on different methods to reduce sodium intake across the population.

Sodium Resources 


Major Food Companies Prepare $50M Push for "Facts Up Front" Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which represents major food companies, and the Food Marketing Institute, which represents retailers, are preparing a $50 million campaign to advertise their new front-of-pack labeling system, "Facts Up Front," which has been gradually rolling out since 2011. The communications campaign will include paid media and point-of-purchase marketing. GMA estimates that 70% to 80% of products from participating companies will have Facts Up Front labels by the end of the year. Click here to read more.


Philadelphia Pushing Reduced Sodium Chinese Takeout Meals

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is working with more than 200 Chinese restaurants to reduce sodium content in their most popular meals-chicken lo mein and shrimp and broccoli-in hopes of preventing high blood pressure among the city's residents. The "Less Salt, Healthier Eating" program gives chefs training on cooking with low sodium ingredients and encourages restaurants to reduce sodium levels by 10% to 15%. The program targets restaurants in low-income African-American and Latino communities, which have higher rates of hypertension. The city conducted a blind survey of 20 restaurants in the program and found that a serving of chicken lo mein contained about 2,560 milligrams of sodium, down from 3,200 milligrams when the program began 18 months earlier. Click here to read more.   


Blood Pressure Responses to Sodium Hold Steady Over Time 

Blood pressure responses to changes in dietary salt and potassium intake remained consistent in two assessments separated by nearly 5 years, researchers found. The results suggest that blood pressure responses to changes in dietary sodium and potassium are not unrelated occurrences but instead are stable and reproducible long-term human characteristics. Click here to read more.

New Study Finds Population Sodium Reduction is Promising
A new study, published in the journal Current Atherosclerosis Reports, reviewed economic analyses of interventions to reduce sodium intake and found that both lowering the salt content in processed foods and conducting national mass media campaigns are estimated to be cost-effective in preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Estimates provided in the study of resultant blood pressure decreases and decreases in the incidence of CVD events support population-wide sodium reduction interventions. Click here for more information. 


NRA Expands Kids LiveWell Program  

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) recently expanded its Kids LiveWell program to showcase restaurants' innovation in creating healthy kids meals through a partnership with McCormick for Chefs. The NRA is also partnering with Sysco to develop menu items meeting the Kids LiveWell nutrition guidelines to distribute to independent restaurateurs nationwide. NRA launched Kids LiveWell in 2011 with 19 restaurants committed to the program; two years later there are 98. Click here for more information.

Chronic Disease Prevention Toolkit

The Tracking Down the Salt infrographic provides a graphical representation of the amount of sodium in certain foods and ways to reduce sodium consumption.   


To access more tools and resources, visit the Chronic Disease Prevention Toolkit.  

Connect with the Chronic Disease Team

NACCHO welcomes requests for chronic disease prevention planning and technical assistance from any local public health department, please send your requests here.


Find resources, policy statements, news, and more on NACCHO's Chronic Disease webpage.  


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