less salt, less risk

The first PAHO Expert Group (EG) Meeting on population-level dietary salt reduction in the Americas  was held at the PAHO Headquarters in Washington, DC, on 9-10 September 2009. The general objective was to explore various aspects of cardiovascular disease prevention through dietary salt reduction to the extent of their practicality.

Specific Objectives

  • Current epidemiological situation in the Region regarding hypertension, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and some cancers, and main sources of salt intake in populations.
  • Policies and initiatives worldwide and in the Region of the Americas aimed at reducing dietary salt, as well as areas of potential intervention such as regulation, education, health professional roles, product reformulation by industry, monitoring progress, leadership.
  • Monitoring salt intake in the population and feasibility of using existing surveillance systems and structures.
  • Opportunities for public-private partnerships to adapt existing good practices and foster creative and innovative approaches and programs.
  • Options for resolution of use of salt for fluoridation and considerations in relation to iodized salt and iodine deficiency.
  • Best practices from CARMEN countries and countries from other WHO regions.

Final Meeting Report: pdf  English  |   pdf  español  | pdf  português

Dr. Roses, PAHO Director, with the Expert Group

Participants: Representatives from the ministry of Health of Brasil, nongovernmental organizations, and experts in salt reduction from PAHO, the United States Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the US AED, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, WHO Headquarters in Geneva, the Inter American Heart Foundation, the Pedro Kourí Tropical Medicine Research Institute in Cuba (IPK), and Health Canada, among others.

Working Groups

A chair and co-chair were chosen to work closely with the four formed working subgroups on

  • surveillance
  • liaison with industry
  • advocacy
  • fortification

To learn more abou the EG, please click here.

Next Steps

The full expert group will teleconference as needed. It will meet once or twice yearly. The next meeting will likely be in March 2010, attached to a WHO meeting in Argentina on micronutrients.

Each of the four subgroups nominated a lead to work closely with the Chair and Co-chairs of the full group, to report on progress and maintain subgroup momentum. Subgroups agreed to communicate monthly via e-mail or, when necessary, via teleconference.

The PAHO secretariat will confirm a workplan that addresses the priority issues, in consultation with the subgroups and their leads.

Meeting Documents