ARCHIVED - Multi-Stakeholder Working Group on Dietary Sodium Reduction (Sodium Working Group, SWG)

November 24, 2008

Teleconference Summary Report

Purpose of the Meeting

The main meeting objectives were to:

  • prepare and finalize plans for the February 2009 meeting;
  • describe Health Canada modelling work on dietary sodium reduction;
  • clarify and discuss the appendix to the Terms of Reference of the SWG.

Key Outcomes of the Meeting were:

February Meeting

February 19, 2009, consultation:
The SWG discussed and agreed on the structure of the agenda for the public consultation on February 19, 2009, which includes a morning session with invited expert speakers to present on health effects of sodium, on sodium levels and sources in diets of Canadians and on European and UK initiatives and perspectives. The afternoon session under Developing Canadian Solutions will include two topics: "Food Supply Challenges & Solutions", and "Education and Consumer Behaviour/Awareness Challenges & Solutions." It was agreed that the invited expert speakers for the public consultation be finalized with the help of interested SWG members. In addition to the invited expert speakers, other stakeholders will be able to make 5 to 10 minute presentations in each of the afternoon sessions at the February public consultation, based on requests received during the on-line consultation and on-line questionnaire. Members were informed, and agreed on the procedure to be followed so that the questionnaire, which has been prepared to guide the consultation and obtain input and advice from interested parties and experts, would be available on line in early December.

February 20, 2009, SWG meeting:
Members agreed that on Feb 20, they would review key messages from the previous day's public consultation, determine objectives and goals to achieve through a sodium reduction strategy, establish the criteria to assess sodium reduction options, and discuss the modelling scenarios of sodium reduction.

Modelling Scenarios of Sodium Reduction

Members discussed the work on modelling scenarios of sodium reduction undertaken by the Food Directorate including work to determine what would be the best approach to the modelling. Food Directorate will work on the modelling scenarios focussing on sodium quartiles and send the modelling results to the SWG before the February meeting.

Terms of Reference

The WG agreed to an appendix to the Terms of Reference to summarize operational decisions that were made by the members during the first two WG meetings and to meet Health Canada's Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB) requirements established for Advisory Bodies. As part of the last item, members also discussed and agreed to complete forms on Affiliations and Interests Declaration, on Confidentiality Agreement and on Security Clearance. The Secretariat advised that they would send the forms to all members by email from the sodium.hc-sc.gc.ca account.

Next Steps

  • Finalize the invited expert speakers for the public consultation planned for February 19, 2009.
  • Food Directorate will continue the work on the modelling scenarios.
  • In addition to the February 2009 meeting, the SWG agreed to meet three more times during 2009, to develop recommendations and a specific strategy on sodium reduction.
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