Sodium Reduction

Sodium Reduction

The amount of salt consumed by Americans is a major public health issue. High salt intake has been linked to an increase in blood pressure and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke. ASTHO has been working with CDC’s Division of Heart Disease and Stroke for several years to engage state health officials in the development of a national strategy to reduce the sodium content in the food supply through a collaborative effort of public health leaders and other relevant stakeholders.

Salt and Your State - Healthy Food Purchasing Technical Assistance Project

Salt and Your State Project Summary  NEW!
This document summarizes the results of ASTHO's 2011-2015 project, funded by CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, that provided targeted technical assistance to two cohorts of states, with 11 states total, aimed at building states' capacity for sodium reduction efforts. These sodium reduction efforts focused specifically on using government food procurement to improve the nutritional quality of food for state employees and state programs' clients. Participating states were Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, and Washington. The project summary provides a background of the technical assistance project, an overview of each state's activities, lessons learned, and a list of resources related to sodium reduction and government procurement.

Million Hearts and Sodium Webinar: Making Sense of the Science and Translation to Practice (June 10, 2015)
ASTHO, in collaboration with the American Heart Association and NACCHO, hosted this webinar to highlight population sodium reduction as a priority of the Million Hearts Initiative. Emily Ann Callahan, National Program Lead for American Heart Association’s Sodium Reduction Initiative presented the public health rationale for reducing population sodium intake and addressed recent research that has called sodium recommendations into question. Speakers from state and local health departments also provided examples of effective strategies for implementing sodium reduction guidelines. Holly Richards, Sodium Reductions Grant Manager from Maine’s public health department, discussed their sodium reduction initiatives in hospitals across the state and in a food bank distribution center. Misty Kruger, Public Information Officer at Shawnee County Public Health in Kansas, shared their successes implementing sodium guidelines in gas stations and at the local zoo [access the slide deck].

Salt and Your State Webinar: Sodium Reduction through Procurement Strategies (Dec. 16, 2013)
This webinar recording provides an overview of sodium reduction strategies in three states. The Massachusetts Department of Health presents about implementing and evaluating Executive Order 509, which created standards for all state agencies that purchase and serve food to clients. Morrison Healthcare Food Services provides an implementer perspective from the Massachusetts state agencies affected by the Executive Order. The Arkansas Department of Health shares about the state's project to expand healthy food options policies that benefit employees at Arkansas state agencies. The webinar also includes a presentation from the Washington State Department of Health about new state agency nutrition guidelines mandated by Executive Order 13-06.

ASTHO Supports the National Salt Reduction Initiative

ASTHO also works with the National Salt Reduction Initiative spearheaded by NYC and has publicly commended the major food and restaurant companies that officially committed to helping people stay healthy by reducing the level of salt in their products. New York City's NSRI is a public-private partnership that was developed in conjunction with national health organizations years in order to set targets for sodium reduction in packaged and restaurant foods. Key players in the food industry, such as H.J. Heinz Co., Kraft Foods Inc., and Starbucks have committed to the voluntary initiative. In April 2010, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials joined its partners in the National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI) in commending the 16 food and restaurant companies that publicly committed to helping people stay healthy by reducing the level of salt in their products. The companies have taken an important first step in an effort that could ultimately save tens of thousands of lives.