The American Heart Association recently convened a two-day interactive and collaborative forum for key stakeholders and thought leaders in sodium reduction to discuss the status and future implications of reducing sodium in the food supply and identify opportunities for stakeholder collaboration.
Approximately 140 participants representing stakeholders engaged in research and development, food processing and manufacturing, regulatory and legislative activities, public health initiatives, education strategies and monitoring and surveillance participated in the conference.
Presentation topics included:
- Scientific evidence for sodium reduction and public health policy recommendations
- Consumer sodium intakes and attitudes and behaviors towards sodium
- Food technologies and solutions for sodium reduction and sensory implications
- Experiences of the food and dining industry
- Translation and implementation of sodium intake recommendations
The conference allowed stakeholders to engage in conversation, receive updates from experts in the field and share current data.
The conference demonstrated the value of collaboration between the food industry and health and nutrition professionals, and this conference model could be used to address other food development, processing and/or technology issues.
The objectives included:
- Assess the current status and future implications of efforts to reduce sodium in the food supply.
- Leverage expertise from different disciplines to identify and evaluate sodium reduction strategies and to address opportunities and challenges.
- Discuss ways to translate sodium reduction strategies into practical application.
- Identify short-term and long-term sodium reduction goals and the factors that impact timelines for achieving these goals.
- Identify metrics and methodologies for evaluating the collective impact of sodium reduction efforts on the food supply and on health outcomes.
- Identify collaboration opportunities among stakeholders.
The information presented and discussed at the conference by food industry, public health, medicine, nutrition and food science, research and public policy professionals will help the AHA understand the roles it can play in helping reduce Americans’ sodium intakes, setting a road map for moving forward.