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Public Health Reports: Evaluation of a Sodium Reduction Initiative in Philadelphia Low-Income Communities and Neighborhoods

In an article in Public Health Reports, Drs. Grace X. Ma, Steven E. Shive, Yin Tan, and Lin Zhu and Ms. Guo Zhang of Temple University College of Public Health, Drs. Cheryl Bettigole and Hannah Lawman and Ms. Meagan Pharis and Ms. Amanda Wagner from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and Dr. Min Qi Wang from the University of Maryland, College Park evaluated the effectiveness of a salt reduction intervention among Chinese takeout restaurants located in the low-income communities and neighborhoods of a large, urban city.

The initiative trained chefs from 206 Chinese take-out restaurants on how to reduce sodium in the dishes they prepared. Changes in sodium content in food as well as chefs’ knowledge, perceptions, and self-efficacy regarding salt reduction were analyzed over a three year period in 40 restaurants. Results showed significant decreases in sodium content during the three years following the intervention. While chefs’ knowledge, perceptions, and self-efficacy increased immediately post-training, they fell to baseline levels after 36 months. The authors concluded that providing chefs with comprehensive training and technical support was a useful population health approach and that the reduction of sodium content in foods prepared at Chinese takeout restaurants can be sustained over time, despite changing attitudes of restaurants’ owners and chefs.

Full article

Public Health Reports is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service and has been published since 1878. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health.

Visit Public Health Reports for more information about the journal.