Public health agencies join in 'Break Up With Salt' campaign

As part of Illinois Sodium Reduction Week, March 12-18, public health agencies across the state are joining forces with the American Heart Association to raise awareness of the importance of lowering sodium in your diet with the "Break Up With Salt" campaign.

"Extensive research has shown that too much sodium is related to high blood pressure, a primary risk factor for heart disease and stroke," said Dr. Terry Mason, president of the Northern Illinois Public Health Consortium. "Through the 'Break Up With Salt' campaign, we hope to encourage people of all ages to make healthier food choices."

According to the American Heart Association, Americans consume an average 3,400 mg of sodium per day. A reduction to 1,500 mg per day could result in an estimated $26.2 billion in health care savings, and 500,000 to 1.2 million fewer deaths from cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years.

The consortium and the American Heart Association are encouraging all Illinois residents, schools, hospitals, community- and faith-based organizations - anyone with an interest in health living - to participate in Illinois Sodium Reduction Week activities on social media:

• Thunderclap at 10 a.m. Monday, March 12: Register now for the Thunderclap at to join in broadcasting one unified message throughout Illinois about the benefits of reducing sodium.

• Facebook Live healthy cooking demo at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13: In this half-hour presentation with the hosted by Lake County Health Department, you will learn to make easy, delicious and healthy recipes from registered dietitians. Like, love, share and post comments or questions during the event.

• Twitter Chat at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 14, led by the American Heart Association Chicago (@HeartChicago). During this one-hour chat, experts will answer questions and share easy ways to cut sodium from your diet. Follow the conversation, ask questions or share information using the #BreakUpWithSalt hashtag.

• #BreakUpWithSalt video at 9 a.m. Thursday, March 15: Follow your local health department on Facebook or Twitter to view, like and share a fun YouTube video featuring several county health departments using cliché breakup lines to break up with salt. For Cook County, or For DuPage County, or For Kane County, or For Lake County, or For McHenry County, or

• Keep the momentum going Friday, March 16, and all weekend long by creating your own #BreakUpWithSalt posts on your social media accounts.

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