Sodium Intake Reduction Strategy Development

The Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Division of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has worked with IMPH to review and analyze the development and implementation of a sodium intake reduction strategy in South Carolina.

Reducing sodium intake is an important step in lowering blood pressure and helping to prevent cardiovascular disease.  The Institute of Medicine reports that consuming excessive amounts of sodium is strongly associated with high blood pressure, which is a prime indicator for cardiovascular disease and stroke — both leading causes of death in the U.S. and in South Carolina.

Even the smallest effort to reduce sodium intake and blood pressure can decrease fatalities due to stroke and cardiovascular disease.  Statistics show that lowering sodium intake could reduce hypertension cases by 11 million; this could save about $18 billion in health care costs (CDC, 2009).

IMPH convened a stakeholder group to explore possible strategies to reduce sodium intake in South Carolina.  To assist this process, IMPH provided research on best practices across the country on sodium intake reduction and wrote a brief to provide education on scientifically identified best practices.

Download a copy of  “Considering Sodium Intake Reduction Strategies in South Carolina,” published in March 2013.  Further information on the brief may be found here.

In April 2013 the South Carolina House of Representatives passed a resolution (H. 3879) to raise awareness of the danger of excessive salt intake to the health of South Carolinians. This resolution was sponsored by Representatives Bakari Sellers (D – Bamberg) and John Richard King (D – York) and points out that consuming excessive amounts of sodium is associated with high blood pressure.

Click here to view the resolution.

IMPH is also a member of the National Sodium Reduction Initiative (NSRI), a nationwide effort to prevent heart attacks and strokes by reducing the salt content of packaged and restaurant foods.  The NSRI is a partnership between more than 80 local and state health authorities and health organizations as well as 30 food manufacturers and restaurant chains.

For more information on sodium consumption and the relationship to heart disease and stroke, please see http://www.cdc.gov/salt/index.htm.  To learn more about common sources of sodium in the diet, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/Sodium/index.html.

Please contact Maya Pack for more information on the Institute’s role in sodium intake reduction strategy development.

 Page first published: November 2011
Page last updated: August 2013

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