Online Program

Public Health and Worksite Partnerships Effectiveness on Reducing Sodium In Menu Options for Worksite Patrons

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sarah Ullevig, PhD, RD, LD, Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
Ellen Spitisen, BA, San Antonio Metropolitian Health District, San Antonio, TX
Eliani Uc, MCHES, Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
Erica T. Sosa, PhD, MCHES, Department of Kinesiology, Health and Nutrition, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

The City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (SAMHD) partnered with local worksite cafeteria stakeholders with the goal to create a more healthful environment for worksite employees by reducing the sodium in the cafeteria menu.


A health program specialist and registered dietitian from the SAMHD collected recipes and nutrient information to complete a comprehensive nutrient analysis on the menus served at two worksites.  Data were collected from a sample of serving lines at both locations.  Food items were categorized by sodium content based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (single entrees ≤ 325 mg, side items ≤215 mg). Food items were targeted for sodium reduction based on the frequency of the item served on the menu and the availability of lower-sodium alternatives.


Worksite #1 changed three ingredients impacting a total of 28 out of 39 entrees served on the sampled serving lines, lowering the sodium content by 22%.   The ingredient modifications provided an additional 2 low-sodium entrees.   Worksite #2 removed one and changed six ingredients, reducing the sodium content of 10 entrees and 1 side item for a 16% reduction of sodium on the main serving line.  The ingredient modifications provided an additional 4 low-sodium food choices.


Effective collaboration between government entities and public companies to replace or remove multiple ingredients can significantly reduce sodium levels in the food environment for worksite employees. Future research will investigate if worksite patrons purchased and were satisfied with the lower sodium options.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process of identifying and selecting food items targeted for sodium reduction at worksite cafeterias. Identify the number of changes worksite cafeterias can make to impact on sodium content. Discuss the increasing need for collaboration between government and public companies to increase access to healthier food choices.

Keyword(s): Nutrition, Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I created the updated data collection, management and analysis protocol. I also helped analyze the data and develop the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.