Heart disease in the United States is the number one cause of death and costs $317 billion annually (Centers for Disease Control, [CDCa], 2018). Heart disease is usually considered an adult disease, but today we are finding that more children are developing symptoms of high blood pressure and sodium consumption is the link (Webb, 2017). Health care spending for hypertension is at an all-time high and is expected to triple over the next 20 years (Bussenius, Zeck, Williams, & Haynes-Ferere, 2018). The American Heart Association (AHA) states if sodium consumption was decreased to around 1,500 milligrams (mg) a day, blood pressure could decrease nationally by 25.6% and in turn would decrease overall health costs by $26.2 billion (AHA, 2018). Today more children are at risk and some are currently being treated for high blood pressure. Most people are not aware of what sodium does, where it is found, or that it should be counted per milligrams daily. The CDCc (2018), suggests in order to make a change in heart health, we need stronger educational programs. If children on average ingest 3,255mg daily of sodium, then it is clear they need more education, support and influence on how to eat and choose foods with lower-sodium. If an implementation of low-sodium education could get into the classrooms, we can beat this disease process and the anticipated health-care spending increase can potentially dissipate. In children ages 6-18, how would a policy change by implementing elementary school education of a low-sodium diet, compare to children who do not receive education of low-sodium, affect their risk of hypertension, over three months?

Date of publication

Spring 4-19-2020

Document Type

MSN Capstone Project



Persistent identifier



Masters of Nursing Administration