The diet of the average American child still contains much more salt than is recommended, a new study finds. As kids’ preference for high sodium foods grows, so does their risk for developing heart problems later in life.
According to the report, the biggest contributors to kids’ high sodium levels were foods such as pizza, processed snacks and soups, sandwiches, and sodium-heavy breads. Dinner accounted for 39% of kids’ daily salt intake and lunch for 31%. Approximately 15% of kids’ salt intake came from breakfast and snacks.
Hypertention and heart disease
The study found that kids typically consumed 3,256 milligrams (mg) of salt per day, not including salt added at the table. Kids should only consume between 1,900 mg to 2,300 mg a day (depending on their age), the researchers note.
Reducing salt intake
Quadar and her colleagues also recommend seeking out no-salt or lower-sodium versions of food and feeding children a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. While at restaurants, parents can ask to take a look at nutritional information in order to choose healthier options.
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