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Learn about the tool designed to assist practitioners working on sodium reduction and the action plan that turns the assessment into results.

Sodium Assessment and Action Tools

April 15, 2019

These tools are digital versions of the Sodium Practices Assessment Tool (SPAT) 2.0 and Site Action Plan developed and used by the New York State Department of Health. Health Resources in Action translated these tools into a digital format, in collaboration with the National Network of Public Health Institutes through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The SPAT* was adapted from the Restaurant Assessment Tool and Evaluation (RATE)**.

The Assessment Tool is designed to assist practitioners working on sodium reduction in: 1) gathering background information, 2) assessing current policy and practices, and 3) developing site action plans for four venue types: cafeteria settings, snack bar/grab n’ go settings, and vending machines. The assessment tool includes six sections: 1) assessment information, 2) food service guidelines/standards, 3) food purchasing, 4) food preparation, 5) nutrition promotion. PRE assessments are conducted when work begins at a site and POST assessments after the site has finished implementing its action plan.

The Action Plan Tool helps turn assessment results into action items for sites to focus on. The site action plan is a tool that can be used for program planning, to document which strategies will be targeted for improvement.

*SPAT manuscript: Lowenfels A, Pattison MJ, Martin AM, Ferrari C. Improving the Food Environment in Hospitals and Senior Meal Programs. Prev Chronic Dis 2018;15:170429.

**RATE manuscript: Schuldt J, Levings J, Kahn-Marshall J, Hunt G, Mugavero K, Gunn J. Reducing Sodium Across the Board: A Pilot Program in Schenectady County Independent Restaurants. JPHMJ 2014;20.

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