IMPH Joins National Sodium Reduction Initiative

The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) accepted an invitation to join the National Sodium Reduction Initiative (NSRI) in January 2012. As a partner, IMPH signed NSRI’s statement of support for sodium reduction as an effort to lower rates of hypertension, prevent heart attacks and strokes and save lives.

The National Sodium Reduction Initiative is a nationwide public-private partnership aiming to reduce population sodium intake by 20% over five years through voluntary corporate commitments to reduce sodium in packaged and restaurant foods. To date, more than 80 cities, states and health organizations have joined the NSRI partnership, and almost 30 food manufacturers and restaurant chains, such as Kraft, Heinz and Subway, have voluntarily committed to NSRI sodium targets for 2012 and 2014. Progress toward these targets will be assessed later in 2012.

“The need for sodium intake reduction in South Carolina is clear,” Maya Pack, IMPH Associate Director of Research and Strategic Initiatives, said. “We have high rates of heart disease, stroke, hypertension and diabetes as well as an overall lack of awareness of the connection between health risk factors and sodium intake.  All evidence-based strategies to reduce the population’s sodium intake should be considered, and IMPH is pleased to join the NSRI and support their efforts.”

IMPH is leading collaboration among state stakeholders to develop strategies to reduce sodium intake in South Carolina. For more information about the Institute’s role in this initiative, please contact Maya Pack or visit the IMPH section on Sodium Intake Reduction Strategy Development.

Christine Johnson Curtis, Director of Nutrition Strategy for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, extended the invitation to IMPH. The New York City Health Department leads coordination of the NSRI. For more information about the NSRI, visit http://www.nyc.gov/health/salt.

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