Less Salt, Healthier Life: Unique Partnership Strives for a Healthier Community

Food contest participants and Temple Center for Asian Health staff.

Food contest participants and Temple Center for Asian Health staff


On Saturday August 4th, Temple University’s Center for Asian Health hosted a community event that recognized multiple partners working together to promote eating less salt (or sodium). The Center for Asian Health launched the Healthy Chinese Take-out Initiative (HCTI) in 2012 in partnership with the Chinese Restaurant Association, Asian Community Health Coalition and Department of Public Health to reduce heart disease risk among high-risk groups by reducing the sodium content of meals served at over 200 Chinese take-out restaurants. The initiative expanded in 2014 to include community and faith-based organizations in African-American communities to promote broader awareness about high sodium intake and its impact on health.

At Saturday’s event, church members participated in a lower-sodium food contest and provided samples of their homemade dishes. Kemal Cox, who made a chicken salad with curry powder, mandarin oranges and craisins, was the winner, but all participants made tasty dishes! Restaurant owners who participated in the HCTI also provided samples of their lower sodium dishes. Attendees heard from our City’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, about why it is so important to watch how much sodium is in your food. High sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Since most of the sodium we consume comes from packaged and restaurant foods, it makes sense to work with restaurants to cut the sodium in the food they serve.

This event highlighted an innovative public health effort to bring diverse groups together to promote healthy eating in the community.


Food contest participants receiving certificates from Temple staff as well as Health Commissioner Thomas Farley and City Councilman Al Taubenberger.

Healthy Chinese Take-out Initiative restaurant owners with members of the Chinese Restaurant Association, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, City Councilman Al Taubenberger and Temple Center for Asian Health Director Dr. Grace Ma.

Event attendees with their raffle prizes.

Food contest participants showcasing their dishes.

All photos courtesy of Temple University.

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