The team members of the University of South Florida College of Public Health World Health Organization Collaboration Center (WHO CC) were awarded a grant to create social marketing strategies to reduce sodium consumption in Latin America. South Florida is part of an overall project funded at $1.2 million.
Anthropology professor Dr. Linda Whiteford and distinguished health professor Dr. Carol Bryant have been awarded this research grant through the International Development Research Center to facilitate training and education about health interventions in Latin America. Their work will focus on implementing social marketing tactics in five countries to change behaviors about sodium consumption.
“Our Center is looking forward to building our work in the Caribbean by training five Latin America country teams to use social marketing principles to create a plan to reduce salt consumption in their nations,” Dr. Bryant said. “We know that there will be many differences between countries, but we also hope to find cross-cutting themes that can be used in materials disseminated to broad regions within the hemisphere.”
According to Dr. Whiteford, sodium consumption is an associative factor in heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and hypertension. This project will allow Drs. Whiteford and Bryant to work with a large population of individuals in Latin America, who intake more sodium per day than the recommended limit due to cultural consumption habits.
“The reason people are paying attention to sodium is because it is associated with a series of health outcomes that can kill you, and if they don’t kill you, they can cost the government a lot of money in terms of care and in terms of rehabilitation,” Dr. Whiteford said.