High intake of dietary sodium is associated with elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.1 Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States.2 From a public health perspective, this makes controlling hypertension an important issue. Most sodium consumed by Americans comes from processed and restaurant foods. Because these sources make up a large part of the American diet and because consumers have little control over the level of sodium in these foods, it is often difficult for consumers to reduce their sodium intake.
Reducing sodium intake to levels consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is a priority for Spokane Regional Health District. The agency is working to reduce sodium intake by:
Increasing the availability of lower sodium foods at non-chain independent restaurants.
Implementing food service guidelines to increase the availability of lower sodium foods in public and private work site cafeterias.
To learn more about the methods, progress, and lessons learned see the Success Stories below: