School lunches helping children from getting too-salty diets

by Lindsey Elliott

New findings show that many Americans are at risk for high blood pressure because of too much sodium in our diets—and the risk is especially high for children.

The study was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings show that about eight out of every 10 children ages 1 to 3 are at risk for , and the risk goes up with age: Nine out of every 10 Americans ages 4 and older are at risk.

About 8 percent of the salt children eat comes from . Kansas State University dietitians say new school meal guidelines are aimed at reducing the amount of salt children eat.

"The schools provide more than just in the fact that they're really focusing on the , trying to cut back on the sodium level and that there's more of a focus on offering fruits and vegetables," said Amber Howells, instructor in dietetics at Kansas State University.

The CDC report finds that even a 400 milligram per person reduction in U.S. sodium intake could save billions of health care dollars.

Kevin Sauer, an assistant professor of dietetics, said the idea is to influence the children's eating patterns for a lifetime.

"The thought is that with children and obesity on the rise, that if we can start modeling appropriate behavior while they're in school, that maybe they'll adopt these practices going on through life," Sauer said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Americans still eat too much salt, CDC says

Dec 19, 2013

(HealthDay)—Americans' love of salt has continued unabated in the 21st century, putting people at risk for high blood pressure, the leading cause of heart attack and stroke, U.S. health officials said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Research looks to combat US Latina immigrant obesity

3 hours ago

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States, comprising 16.7% of the population. Approximately one-third of Latinos are obese and are 1.2 times as likely to be obese compared ...

User comments