Background (completed research project)
High salt intake is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The Swiss salt strategy therefore seeks to gradually reduce salt intake to the international recommendation of five grams per day. The investigation looks at the impact of various measures to reduce salt intake among test participants who regularly take their meals at staff restaurants.
Many workers regularly take lunch at a company-provided staff restaurant. This study investigates how salt intake and the associated blood pressure of the working population can be reduced by means of measures in relation to promoting health within the workplace. This is done by gradually optimising the salt content in the food offered by the staff restaurants of voluntarily participating companies over the course of one year. During the same period, the kitchen staff and staff restaurant users are given theoretical information and practical advice on health eating. The purpose of these measures is to motivate the participants in the study and support them in gradually improving their skills, attitudes, and habits in relation to food preparation and consumption. The salt content of the meals offered is investigated in the laboratory. The salt intake, blood pressure, weight, size and health awareness of study participants are also assessed. Finally, the results are compared with those collected from companies that have not changed their staff restaurant offering.
The project is delivering new findings on the factors that encourage or prevent the implementation of health promotion measures in companies and staff restaurants. It will show the extent to which general health can be promoted at low cost. The findings will allow measures intended to reduce salt intake to be assessed in relation to their practical relevance and transferability. This will allow for feasible catering and training plans to be created, and other activities to promote healthy living to be developed at policy, corporate and individual levels.
Environmental and educational intervention in communal catering to lower salt intake in the Swiss working population