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Press Release

Press Release # 015-13
Friday, May 17, 2013

MEDIA CONTACTS: (347) 396-4177
Jean Weinberg:

Health Department, Brooklyn Faith Community Leaders Host Eighth Annual ‘Cut the Salt, Brooklyn’ Awareness and Health Screening Event

Free blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose screenings Saturday from 10am-4pm

May is National Stroke and Hypertension Awareness Month

May 17, 2013 – The Health Department is joining faith community leaders to host the eighth annual ‘Cut the Salt, Brooklyn’ awareness and health screening event tomorrow at Restoration Plaza. Free screenings for blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol will be provided, as well as information to help Brooklyn residents learn how to reduce the amount of sodium in their diet. Over the previous seven years more than 3,000 Brooklyn residents have received blood pressure screenings and information to make them aware of the potential dangers of increased sodium consumption as it relates to the risk of stroke, hypertension, and heart disease.

Together with the Brooklyn Borough Ecumenical Advisory Group (BBEAG) and the American Heart Association (AHA), the Health Department has mailed out materials on stroke and hypertension and how to reduce dietary sodium to over 900 Brooklyn faith-based organizations for distribution in their congregations. This year, the Health Department is collaborating with the American Heart Association, Restoration Plaza, the BBEAG, the Brooklyn Borough President’s office and several public and private hospitals along with many faith-based organizations to reach its goal of screening 1,000 people at the event.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Brooklyn and one in three Brooklynites report having high blood pressure,” said Andrew Goodman, Deputy Commissioner for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. “Cut the Salt, Brooklyn is a great way to raise awareness in the community about the risks of high blood pressure and to encourage residents to control and prevent it.”

“Bravo to the NYC Health Department and to Deputy Commissioner for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Andrew Goodman for launching ‘Cut the Salt, Brooklyn,’ a program I am proud to support,” said Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President. “Here in Brooklyn, our diversity is our strength, but many of our famous ethnic foods feature dishes with high salt content. And with some of the highest rates of obesity and heart disease in the city, it is crucial that whether you’re an at-home cook or a gourmet chef, whether your meals are short order or sit down—Brooklyn needs to lower our food’s salt content without losing our trademark ‘flavor.’ Programs like ‘Cut the Salt Brooklyn’ are key as we raise awareness about the benefits of a low-salt diet—but we also need legislation that pushes large food companies to cut the sodium content in processed foods. It’s time for Americans and Brooklynites to shape up with salt use down.”

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke that is controllable and often preventable. Excess salt intake increases blood pressure and puts people at risk for high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. Almost 80% of the salt consumed comes from packaged, processed store-bought food and restaurant meals.

To limit salt intake:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables and less processed food
  • Choose lower-salt products by checking the nutrition labels on packaged foods before you buy them
  • If you have high blood pressure, take medication as prescribed
‘Cut the Salt, Brooklyn’ Awareness and Health Screening Event

Saturday, May 18, 2013
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Restoration Plaza (in front of building)
1368 Fulton Street (between New York and Brooklyn Avenues)
Brooklyn, NY 11216

For more information about ‘Cut the Salt’ call 311 or visit