History and Impact of the Sodium Reduction in Communities Program
Through the Sodium Reduction in Communities Program (SRCP), communities were funded to implement sodium reduction strategies during three program rounds, spanning 2010 to 2021.
Learn more about the history and outcomes of each round and SRCP’s role in helping people in the United States reduce their sodium intake.
Round 3: Building on Lessons Learned (2016–2021)
In round 3 of SRCP, CDC funded six communities and two states to continue to improve nutrition and increase access to lower-sodium options.
Although findings from the 2010–2013 and 2013–2016 recipients of the program show that sodium reduction is possible and acceptable to consumers, more work was needed in a third round of the program to determine—if these interventions result in sustainable, population-wide reductions in sodium consumption; how these strategies influence the supply and help to identify lower-sodium products; and if effective strategies can be expanded to increase impact.
In this round CDC funded local and state health departments and a university to partner with food service entities that serve more than 5,000 people to carry out the following strategies:
- Implement food service guidelines and nutritional standards for sodium content.
- Make meal and menu modifications to reduce sodium content.
- Change procurement practices to reduce sodium content in purchased items.
- Implement environmental strategies and behavioral economics approaches.
Funded communities were also required to work with a food sector organization, for example, (e.g., vendors, suppliers, and/or trade association affiliates).
CDC measured specific outcomes to find out if these strategies met programmatic goals in the priority venues. CDC based the assessment on both local and cross-site evaluations.
In round 3, recipients’ activities were intended to produce the following outcomes:
(Project years 1-2)
(Project years 2-3)
(Project years 4-5)
Evaluation and performance measurement are used to demonstrate program accomplishments and strengthen the evidence for strategy implementation.
CDC used an evaluation approach that consisted of
- ongoing monitoring and evaluation through the collection and reporting of performance measures
- a CDC-led national evaluation
- recipient-led evaluations
From October 2016 to September 2018, SRCP recipients partnered with 537 food service organizations in 8 settings to reduce the sodium content of available foods.
- View an infographic about how The Sodium Reduction in Communities Program Demonstrates Early Success (October 2016–September 2018) [PDF – 672 KB].
- View a program brief about how recipients are demonstrating early success in implementing the short-term outcome: Examining Early Successes in Implementing Four Key Sodium Reduction Strategies from October 2016–September 2018 [PDF – 2 MB].
From October 2016 to December 2021, SRCP recipients partnered with organizations to implement sodium-reduction strategies in eight kinds of venues.
- View performance measure data reported by SRCP recipients: Sodium Reduction in Communities Program (SRCP) Performance Measure Snapshot: 2016–2021 [PDF – 438 KB].
View these two-page profiles that provide an overview of SRCP activities and key achievements through Year 5 (September 30, 2016–September 29, 2021). The data comes from recipient performance measure reporting and annual performance reports.
- Los Angeles County: Year 5 Recipient Profile [PDF – 302 KB]
- Marion County: Year 5 Recipient Profile [PDF – 295 KB]
- New York City: Year 5 Recipient Profile [PDF – 296 KB]
- New York State: Year 5 Recipient Profile [PDF – 299 KB]
- Oregon: Year 5 Recipient Profile [PDF – 298 KB]
- Philadelphia: Year 5 Recipient Profile [PDF – 307 KB]
- Seattle-King County: Year 5 Recipient Profile [PDF – 300 KB]
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences: Year 5 Recipient Profile [PDF – 302 KB]
Round 2: Testing Promising Strategies (2013–2016)
Based on lessons learned during the demonstration, CDC awarded funding in 2013 to 10 communities to start and test promising sodium reduction strategies. These communities worked to reduce sodium intake by adding lower-sodium options in worksites, hospitals, meal programs, early care and education settings, and independent restaurants.
Program Evaluation Overview
- Evaluating the Sodium Reduction in Communities Program: Lessons Learned from Planning and Early Implementation [PDF – 819 KB]
Each of the 2013 recipients of this program documented their successes in the following areas:
- Developing nutrition standards, such as worksite-specific or countywide food service guidelines that include sodium limits for meals served.
- Working directly with food service professionals on reducing the sodium content of foods purchased or prepared in the kitchen.
- Working with entities that serve or sell food to standardize purchasing of lower-sodium options.
- Developing salt-free cooking practices.
These strategies increased the number of healthy options available to consumers by lowering sodium content in the food supply.
Round 1: Accepting Sodium Reduction (2010–2013)
In September 2010, CDC funded five recipients to conduct community-level sodium reduction work. This demonstration program sought to reduce sodium consumption and find out whether consumers would accept the reduction.
SRCP Journal Articles
SRCP Resources and Success Stories
This guide draws upon the experiences gained during the SRCP and provides information on how to implement activities related to four key strategies: implementing food service guidelines and nutrition standards; changing procurement practices; making meal or menu modifications; and implementing environmental strategies or behavioral economics approaches.
Learn more about program implementation and read recipients’ success stories for Rounds 1, 2, and 3.
This evaluation toolkit was developed using CDC’s Evaluation Framework to provide guidance and tools for anyone evaluating sodium reduction activities, especially Sodium Reduction in Communities Program recipients.