Sodium Reduction in Communities Program

The Sodium Reduction in Communities Program (SRCP) works in both Erie and Niagara County. CCE is partnering with early childhood education centers and colleges/universities to decrease sodium offered in the menu.

In Erie County alone, cardiovascular disease accounts for 32% of all deaths and is the leading cause of death in Niagara County. Reducing high blood pressure can reduce a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Cutting back on sodium intake is one avenue in preventing and reducing high blood pressure. With about 90% of Americans consuming more sodium than recommended, this is a major risk factor for high blood pressure and heart disease. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should aim for 2,300 mg of sodium each day. The SRCP team is working to help communities increase access to low sodium foods and prevent the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Effective sodium reduction strategies include:

  • Recipe Modification
  • Item Replacement
  • Adopting nutrition standards and policies to make low sodium products a priority
  • Reduce portion sizes
  • Using herbs and spices to flavor foods 

Why lower sodium at early childhood education centers?
Younger children are undergoing constant development and growth even their palates and taste buds are forming. Children, who are exposed to high salt foods while they are younger, are more likely to continue to eat these foods as they get older. If the high salt habit continues this can lead to high blood pressure and other health issues such as obesity, heart disease and stroke. Working with childcare settings to reduce sodium is a prime location as children eat two meals and one snack there. 

Why lower sodium at colleges?
College dining is a trend setting food service operation with a large variety of foods and endless options. As the students are learning to make their own food choices away from home, educating and supplying heathy foods are important. Educating through tabling events and cafeteria promotions increases awareness of food choices and choosing low sodium items. By collaborating with food service staff, we can increase access and availability to low sodium foods across campus.  

Contact

Kaitlyn Summers
SRCP Grant Nutritionist
kes282@cornell.edu
716-433-8839 ext. 242

Last updated November 29, 2018