US Kids May Eat Too Much Salt

Sodium consumption in US children was high possibly contributing to high blood pressure

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) Cravings for salty snacks can start young, but so can health issues like high blood pressure. A new report found that the sodium intake of US kids may be cause for concern.

The report, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), looked at the sodium consumption of US children and the health effects it may have.

The report found that the vast majority of US children ate more sodium than recommended.

"Pay attention to sodium information on nutrition labels."

A new Vital Signs report from the CDC explored children's sodium intake. Though sodium is an essential nutrient, too much can lead to high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.

The CDC noted that most sodium comes in the form of salt, and mostly by way of processed foods.

The report found that around 90 percent of children in the US between the ages of 6 and 18 ate too much sodium daily — an average of 3,300 milligrams (mg) per day, before any salt is added at the table. The recommended daily sodium intake for children is less than 2,300 mg per day.

The CDC also reported that about 43 percent of the sodium in children's diets comes from only 10 common food types — foods like pizza, bread, chips, cheese, pasta dishes and chicken products, among others.

All of this sodium is not without effect — the report estimated that around 1 in 6 US children between the ages of 8 and 17 has raised blood pressure. Healthy diets with healthy sodium levels can reduce this number, the CDC noted.

"The taste for salt is established through diet at a young age," the CDC wrote. "Parents and caregivers can help lower sodium by influencing the way foods are produced, sold, prepared, and served."

Review Date: 
September 9, 2014
Last Updated:
September 9, 2014