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Nutrition Today:
doi: 10.1097/NT.0b013e31826069e8
Clinical Nutrition

Blood Pressure Management: Communicating Comprehensive Lifestyle Strategies Beyond Sodium

Kolasa, Kathryn M. PhD, RD, LDN; Sollid, Kris BS, RD; Edge, Marianne Smith MS, RD, LD, FADA; Bouchoux, Ann BA, MSW

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Abstract

Blood pressure reduction to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease is a key public health initiative, and reducing sodium intake is currently one of the lifestyle strategies promoted to achieve blood pressure lowering in the American population. Sodium reduction is to be achieved in large part by changes in the food supply, but accomplishing this will take time. Even with sodium reduction, consumer awareness and desire to reduce sodium and make other lifestyle changes will ultimately determine whether the goal of blood pressure reduction through diet and lifestyle can be achieved. The International Food Information Council surveyed consumers about their awareness and concern about sodium as well as other lifestyle behaviors that impact blood pressure. The International Food Information Council also convened an experts roundtable, “Managing Blood Pressure through Diet and Lifestyle,” to explore priorities for addressing the lifestyle management of high blood pressure. A summary of the roundtable experts’ discussion and the responses of consumers with high blood pressure to the questions are reported in this article. Results from both the Consumer Research and roundtable experts indicate that a holistic approach beyond sodium reduction is needed to manage high blood pressure to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. This approach may include messaging to consumers and medical professionals about weight management, more fruit and vegetable intake, and more physical activity.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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