Protocol for a novel sodium and blood pressure reduction intervention targeting online grocery shoppers with hypertension – the SaltSwitch Online Grocery Shopping randomized trial

Damian Maganja, Kathy Trieu, Michelle Reading, Liping Huang, Ashleigh Chanel Hart, Fraser Taylor, Steve Stamatellis, Clare Arnott, Xiaoqi Feng, Aletta E. Schutte, Gian Luca Di Tanna, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Adrian J. Cameron, Mark D. Huffman, Bruce Neal, Jason HY Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: High dietary sodium intake is a leading cause of hypertension. A major source of dietary sodium is salt added to processed food products available in retail food environments. The fast-growing online grocery shopping setting provides new opportunities for salt reduction interventions that support consumers in choosing healthier options. Methods: The SaltSwitch Online Grocery Shopping randomized controlled trial is investigating the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of a novel intervention for lowering salt consumption and blood pressure amongst people with hypertension who shop for groceries online. The intervention is based on a bespoke web browser extension that interfaces with a major retailer's online store to highlight and interpret product sodium content and suggest similar but lower-sodium alternatives. The primary outcome of interest is change in mean systolic blood pressure between individuals randomized (1:1) to the intervention and control (usual online shopping) arms at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes are diastolic blood pressure, spot urinary sodium and sodium:potassium ratio, sodium purchases, and dietary intake. Intervention implementation and lessons for future uptake will be assessed using a mixed methods process evaluation. Participants with hypertension who shop online for groceries and exhibit high sodium purchasing behavior are being recruited across Australia. A target sample size of 1,966 provides 80% power (2-sided alpha = 0.05) to detect a 2 mm Hg difference in systolic blood pressure between groups, assuming a 15 mm Hg standard deviation, after allowing for a 10% dropout rate. Discussion: This trial will provide evidence on an innovative intervention to potentially reduce salt intake and blood pressure in people with hypertension. The intervention caters to individual preferences by encouraging sustainable switches to similar but lower-salt products. If effective, the intervention will be readily scalable at low cost by interfacing with existing online retail environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-83
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican heart journal
Volume252
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

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