Protocol for developing the evidence base for a national salt reduction programme for India

27 November 2019

Introduction: The scientific evidence base in support of salt reduction is strong but the data required to translate these insights into reduced population salt intake are mostly absent. The aim of this research project is to develop the evidence base required to formulate and implement a national salt reduction programme for India. Methods and analysis: The research will comprise three components: a stakeholder analysis involving government, industry, consumers and civil society organisations; a population survey using an age-stratified and sex-stratified random samples drawn from urban (slum and non-slum) and rural areas of North and South India; and a systematic quantitative evaluation of the nutritional components of processed and restaurant foods. The stakeholder interviews will be analysed using qualitative methods to summarise the main themes and define the broad range of factors influencing the food environment in India. The population survey will estimate the mean daily salt consumption through the collection of 24 h urine samples with concurrent dietary surveys identifying the main sources of dietary sodium/salt. The survey of foods will record the nutritional composition of the chief elements of food supply. The findings from this research will be synthesised and proposals for a national salt reduction strategy for India will be developed in collaboration with key stakeholders. Ethics and dissemination: This study has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committees of the University of Sydney and the Centre for Chronic Disease Control in New Delhi, and also by the Indian Health Ministry's Screening Committee. The project began fieldwork in February 2014 and will report the main results in 2016. The ļ¬ndings will be targeted primarily at public health policymakers and advocates, but will be disseminated widely through other mechanisms including conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications, as well as to the participating communities.