Salt adds to the taste and flavour of our food. But too much salt can lead to many health problems, most importantly high blood pressure – the leading cause of heart attack and stroke. 

Each year, high salt intake takes around 3 million lives worldwide!


What is SaltED project about?

High blood pressure is common in Australia. Excess salt intake is one of the factors influencing blood pressure. Therefore, a good strategy to improve blood pressure is to reduce the amount of salt consumed. However, the majority of salt we consume is ‘hidden’ in processed and junk foods. This can make it difficult to choose lower salt options when shopping and preparing food or eating out. In the earlier stage of this project, we interviewed adults with high blood pressure to help develop an online intervention that provides personalised feedback on how to choose lower salt foods. In this project, we aim to investigate the effectiveness of this online, personalised intervention on salt reduction (called SaltED) compared to those on a waitlist.  

Who is invited to participate in SaltED?

We are asking adults with medically diagnosed high blood pressure or hypertension that requires you to take medication OR those with consistent systolic blood pressure ≥130 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥85 mmHg to participate.

What is involved for participants?
  • Read this information sheet (a printable version of the Information Sheet is here to download)
  • Check your eligibility by completing the screening form. If eligible, provide consent to participate and register your contact details to gain access to SaltED program.
  • Randomise to receive the content in two groups:
  • Group A: complete a baseline survey at week 1, receive 5 weeks of online personalised content based on your answers to the survey, and complete a final survey at week 6.
  • Group B: complete a baseline survey at week 1, wait for 5 weeks and complete a second survey at week 6, then receive 5 weeks of online personalised content based on your answers to the survey.

Surveys will take approximately 20 minutes each to complete and include questions on salt and dietary intake, food label reading, demographics (e.g., age, gender, living status), body weight and blood pressure.

Weekly online personalised content depends on your answers to the survey but covers feedback on food choices and alternatives.

Are there any Benefits or Risks?

By participating in this study, you may benefit from the materials provided to further your knowledge of salt intake to choose lower salt foods. This program is designed to help Australian adults with increased blood pressure to reduce their salt intake by providing personalised feedback on their current salt intake. You may or may not experience any benefit from this program (similar to any health program). During the program, you may experience discomfort and inconvenience taking time to complete the survey or accessing materials online.

Participants in the study will also receive a $50 Coles or Woolworth gift card at the end of the study for the completion of the 6 weeks program. Note: Please seek financial advice as to whether the gift card received should be considered as assessable income.                                                             

It is not expected that the salt reduction educational content provided within this project impacts your treatment plans for high blood pressure. But we advise that you contact your physician if you wish to discuss this project before agreeing to participate. To download the pdf version of the information sheet and discuss it with your physician, please click here.

What about my Confidentiality / Anonymity?

Every attempt will be made to safeguard your privacy. Your name and any identifying information will not be shared with anyone and not appear on any of the transcripts, or other publications. The consent form and any other identifying information and research data will be securely stored in accordance with Central Queensland University policy and will be only used by the research team for the purpose stated.


What Outcome / Publication will be disseminated from the results?

The research findings will be included in journal articles, conferences, and any other publications that may result from the research.

What is my Right to Withdraw?

You are free to withdraw from the research at any time until the end of the program with no explanation, and without prejudice or consequences as a result of your withdrawal. Any information you provided prior to withdrawal will be omitted from the study. If you decide to withdraw before the end of the program, you will not be eligible to receive the Coles or Woolworth gift cards allocated for the completion of this study or additional measurements.

What if I have Feedback or Question?

If you have any feedback or question or wish to receive a plain English statement of the findings upon the completion of this study please contact Dr. Saman Khalesi: [email protected]  

What if I have Concerns / Complaints about this project?

Please contact CQUniversity’s Office of Research (Tel: 07 4923 2603; E-mail: [email protected]; Mailing address: Building 32, CQUniversity, Rockhampton  QLD  4702) should there be any concerns about the nature and/or conduct of this research project.

This project has been approved by the CQUniversity Human Research Ethics Committee (approval number 23636). 


If you are interested in participating in SaltED, please click on the link below to confirm your eligibility using 5 simple questions. 

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If you have further questions or require clarification, please don’t hesitate to contact the SaltED team at [email protected]

Dr Saman Khalesi is leading this project. He is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at Appleton Institute and School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, CQUniversity, Brisbane, Australia. This work is supported by his Postdoctoral Fellowship (Award No. 102584) from the National Heart Foundation of Australia.