Heart Association Aims to Shake Up Americans’ Salt Intake

The American Heart Association makes a big push to cut the salt from American diets. How can you learn from its campaign?

Today marks the start of the American Heart Association’s three-week “Sodium Swap Challenge,” which urges all Americans to cut salt from their diets. Campaigns that push for a healthier you aren’t uncommon, but the AHA is changing the game by engaging the public in a multi-tiered initiative.

The play: The association created a “Sodium Swap” tab on its Facebook page, which has more than 275,000 likes, giving it prime positioning on the page. The page is full of “challenges” that are seemingly easy to complete, such as limiting consumption of breads and cold meats, and it offers tidbits such as how many milligrams of sodium are contained in turkey cold cuts (up to 230, if you were wondering). Additionally, there’s an information page on the AHA website, which educates viewers on sodium content and how to reduce thier intake, and provides a list of other resources.

The goal: Get Americans to limit their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams per day by eliminating the “salty six” sodium bombs.

The payoff: Local bloggers, such as “Sodium Girl,” are getting in on the action, engaging with the AHA posts to promote their own recipes and tips while fostering a relationship with the association. Regular viewers of the “Sodium Swap” page are staying engaged by offering their own tips and tricks, like a replacement for teriyaki sauce. (Plum jam and unseasoned rice vinegar; who knew?) Week one gets participants started by observing their habits and limiting consumption, while the second week asks for more action, like ordering a lower-salt version of pizza or poultry (so hold the extra cheese and that crispy chicken skin). The third week will focus on soup and sandwiches, according to an article from

What actionable campaigns has your association taken part in lately? Is there a way that you can build off of the AHA campaign? Let us know in the comments.

(Jeffrey Coolidge/Digital Vision/Thinkstock)

Chloe Thompson

By Chloe Thompson

Chloe Thompson is a contributing writer to Associations Now. MORE

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