A high sodium diet raises blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a major cause of heart disease and stroke. By reducing sodium, the food industry can have influence over the health of Americans. In an effort to further sodium reduction efforts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Network of Public Health Institutes have launched a Web Forum series called Connecting Public Health and the Food Industry, hosted by Dialogue4Health. These Web Forums will feature representatives from the food industry who will share best practices, success stories and subject matter expertise for public health audiences working with the food industry to reduce sodium. The events will also include presentations from public health practitioners who will share lessons learned and real-life examples from their work with food industry partners to create change in multiple settings ranging from hospitals/health care facilities, independent restaurants, and cafeterias located on government worksites.

More than 75% of the sodium Americans consume comes from processed and restaurant foods—not the salt shaker. The government, industry, community groups, and consumers must work together to reduce sodium content in the food supply. This Web Forum will focus on sodium reduction and include:

  • An overview of the key sectors within the food system and factors that may influence decision making.
  • A discussion of ways in which public health can partner with key sectors to inform foods produced, prepared, and served within the food system.
  • An example of how public health has worked with the food industry to increase demand and availability of lower sodium products and meals.
  • An example of an industry effort to reduce sodium in foods. 

​This series is a continuation of the Connecting Public Health and Food Service Providers Web Forum series, a collaboration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Network of Public Health Institutes, Culinary Institute of America and Dialogue4Health. 

Presentations and recordings of the other Web Forums in the series are available:

Reduce the Salt, Keep the Flavor: Getting Started With Food Service Providers

Tactical Steps to Sodium Reductions

Changing the Way America Eats

Culinary Techniques for Reducing Sodium

Reducing Sodium in Hospital and Healthcare Settings

Reducing Sodium Through Food Manufacturing


Julie Bongard

Healthy Eating Coordinator, Healthy Communities Department

Spokane Regional Health District

Spokane, WA

Julie Bongard is a Healthy Eating Coordinator in the Healthy Communities Department for Spokane Regional Health District. Ms. Bongard worked as a healthcare professional on the eastern seaboard and inland northwest overseeing large foodservice operations and troubleshooting systems for independent and contract food services. During her tenure working with foodservice…

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Carolyn Raikhlin, MAN, RD

Assistant Nutrition and Health Manager


Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

As a Registered Dietitian at Unilever, Carolyn is actively working to make products throughout the grocery store healthier to help consumers eat and drink healthier versions of what they know and love. Carolyn is the Assistant Nutrition and Health Manager for Lipton®, Hellmann’s®, Knorr®, Popsicle® and Breyers®. She is a…

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Kelly Hughes, MPH, RD, CHES

Associate Director, Program Strategy

National Network of Public Health Institutes

Atlanta, GA

Kelly Hughes, MPH, RD, CHES, serves as an Associate Director for Program Strategy at NNPHI. Based in Atlanta, GA, she serves as a liaison to CDC, providing project and relational support for CDC-funded programs on a variety of topics, including sodium reduction and chronic disease prevention. Prior to joining NNPHI,…

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