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A school-based education programme to reduce salt intake in children and their families (School-EduSalt): protocol of a cluster randomised controlled trial
  1. Feng J He1,
  2. Yangfeng Wu2,3,4,
  3. Jun Ma5,
  4. Xiangxian Feng6,
  5. Haijun Wang5,
  6. Jing Zhang2,
  7. Ching-Ping Lin7,
  8. Jianhui Yuan6,
  9. Yuan Ma3,
  10. Yide Yang5,
  11. Lijing L Yan2,8,
  12. Stephen Jan9,
  13. Caryl Nowson10,
  14. Graham A MacGregor1
  1. 1Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  2. 2The George Institute for Global Health at Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Peking University School of Public Health, Beijing, China
  4. 4Peking University Clinical Research Institute, Beijing, China
  5. 5Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China
  6. 6Changzhi Medical College, Shanxi, China
  7. 7University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  8. 8Department of Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  9. 9The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, Australia
  10. 10School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Feng He; f.he{at}


Introduction The current salt intake is very high for children as well as adults in China. A reduction in salt intake is one of the most cost-effective measures to curb the rapidly growing disease burden attributed to blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in the Chinese population. A lower salt diet starting from childhood has the potential to prevent the development of such conditions. The School-EduSalt (School-based Education Programme to Reduce Salt) study aims to determine whether an education programme targeted at school children can lower salt intake in children and their families.

Methods and analysis The study is designed as a cluster randomised controlled trial. The location is Changzhi, Shanxi province in northern China. The study population will consist of 28 primary schools with 280 children aged ≈11 years and 560 adult family members. Children in the intervention group will be educated on how to reduce salt intake. They will then be empowered to deliver the salt reduction message home to their families. In particular, children need to persuade the person who does the cooking to reduce the amount of salt used during food preparations. The duration of the intervention is one school term (≈4.5 months). The primary outcome is the difference between the intervention and the control group in the change in 24 h urinary sodium and the secondary outcome is the difference between the intervention and control group in the change of blood pressure. An economic evaluation will be undertaken to assess cost-effectiveness.

Ethics and dissemination The study has been approved by The Queen Mary Research Ethics Committee (QMREC2012/81) and Peking University Health Science Centre IRB (IRB00001052-12072). Study findings will be disseminated widely through conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications.

Protocol Registration Protocol Registered on NCT01821144.

  • Salt reduction
  • School-based education programme
  • Cluster randomised controlled trial

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