Effects of a community-based salt reduction program in a regional Australian population

Mary Anne Land, Jason H.Y. Wu, Adriana Selwyn, Michelle Crino, Mark Woodward, John Chalmers, Jacqui Webster, Caryl Nowson, Paul Jeffery, Wayne Smith, Victoria Flood, Bruce Neal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Salt reduction is a public health priority but there are few studies testing the efficacy of plausible salt reduction programs. Methods: A multi-faceted, community-based salt reduction program using the Communication for Behavioral Impact framework was implemented in Lithgow, Australia. Single 24-h urine samples were obtained from 419 individuals at baseline (2011) and from 572 at follow-up (2014). Information about knowledge and behaviors relating to salt was also collected. Results: Survey participants were on average 56 years old and 58 % female. Mean salt intake estimated from 24-h urine samples fell from 8.8 g/day (SD = 3.6 g/day) in 2011 to 8.0 (3.6) g/day in 2014 (-0.80, 95 % confidence interval -1.2 to -0.3;p < 0.001). There were significant increases in the proportion of participants that knew the recommended upper limit of salt intake (18 % vs. 29 %; p < 0.001), knew the importance of salt reduction (64 % vs. 78 %; p < 0.001) and reported changing their behaviors to reduce their salt intake by using spices (5 % vs. 28 %; p < 0.001) and avoiding eating out (21 % vs. 34 %; p < 0.001). However, the proportions that checked food labels (30 % vs. 25 %; p = 0.02) fell, as did the numbers avoiding processed foods (44 % vs. 35 %; p = 0.006). Twenty-six percent reported using salt substitute at the end of the intervention period and 90 % had heard about the program. Findings were robust to multivariable adjustment. Conclusions: Implementation of this multi-faceted community-based program was associated with a ~10 % reduction in salt consumption in an Australian regional town. These findings highlight the potential of well-designed health promotion programs to compliment other population-based strategies to bring about much-needed reductions in salt consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number388
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2016

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Keywords

  • 24-hour urine
  • Cardiovascular disease prevention
  • Salt
  • Sodium

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