There is broad public health interest in reducing sodium in the food supply. However, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to reducing sodium in foods.  Government, industry, community groups, and consumers must work together to achieve meaningful and sustainable reductions.  This Web Forum will focus on public health and industry efforts to reduce sodium in foods produced, sold, and served. The County of San Diego will share successes in reducing sodium levels in the meals sold in a worksite cafeteria, and served in senior meal programs, detention facilities and a psychiatric hospital.  They will also describe how sodium reduction efforts are supporting the development of County nutrition standards.  Then, General Mills will highlight the factors that led to their voluntary public commitment to reduce sodium, approaches used to reduce sodium, results to date and lessons learned.  Finally, General Mills will discuss lower-income consumers’ food values and beliefs, and the importance of understanding what drives their health and food decisions.

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

Reducing Sodium through Public-Private Collaboration


Naomi Billups

Public Health Nutrition Manager

San Diego County

San Diego, CA

Naomi Billups is the Public Health Nutrition Manager for the County of San Diego since 2006. Naomi was instrumental in establishing the San Diego Food Systems Alliance, and designing and managing the implementation of the food systems interventions for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Communities Putting Prevention to…

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Deirdre Kleske

Program Specialist, Healthy Works

San Diego County

San Diego, CA

Deirdre Kleske coordinates the Center for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Healthy Works: Sodium Reduction Initiative for the County of San Diego. Deirdre has more than a decade of experience supporting regional and statewide programs designed to advance evidence-based obesity prevention strategies and promising practices. She has worked on high-profile grants…

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Amy Loew, MS, RD, LD

Senior Nutrition Scientist, Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition

General Mills

Minneapolis, MN

Amy is a senior nutrition scientist at General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition.  She supports the Science and Regulatory Affairs team on topics related to food and nutrition policy and regulation including sodium, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Nutrition Label Reform.  During her 23-year career at General…

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Christy Lopez, MPH, CPH

Epidemiologist, Chronic Disease and Health Equity Unit

San Diego County

San Diego, CA

Christy is an epidemiologist at the County of San Diego Chronic Disease and Health Equity Unit. She is the evaluator for the County’s Sodium Reduction Initiative, and she is also involved in the evaluations for the City of San Diego’s 1422 Grant and the County’s Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention program.

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Suzanne Skapyak MS,RD

Project Manager, Strategy and Innovation

General Mills

Minneapolis. MN

Suzanne Skapyak is a Project Manager in Strategy and Innovation at General Mills. She works with R&D, marketing and consumer insights teams to help develop new products and messaging strategies focused on consumer needs. Prior to her role in Strategy and Innovation, Suzanne worked in the General Mills Bell Institute…

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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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