Officials: US kids eat too much salt

September 17, 2012 by Lindsey Tanner

(AP)—American children eat as much salt as adults—about 1,000 milligrams too much, or the same amount as in just one McDonald's Big Mac hamburger. Extra salt is linked with higher blood pressure, even in kids, but government research says those who are overweight and obese may be most vulnerable to its effects.

The new findings from the were published online Monday in the .

Previous research has shown similar results in adults but studies on salt, weight and blood pressure are scarce in children.

The CDC researchers looked at data on 6,200 U.S. kids aged 8 to 18 involved in 2003-08 national health surveys. The children were asked twice over several days to detail all foods they'd eaten the previous day; the researchers calculated salt intake from their answers.

Overall, 15 percent had either or slightly elevated blood pressure called prehypertension.

Those who ate the most salt faced double the risk of having elevated blood pressure, compared with those who ate few . But among overweight or obese kids, the risk was more than triple.

The recommended daily salt or for kids and adults is no more than 1 teaspoon daily, or about 2,300 milligrams. On average, study kids ate 3,300 milligrams daily.

CDC researcher Quanhe Yang says it's unclear why heavier kids would be more sensitive to salt but it could be due to obesity-related hormone changes. The results raise concerns because studies have shown that elevated blood pressure in childhood, even just prehypertension, can lead to full-fledged high blood pressure in adulthood and potentially premature heart disease.

Prehypertension and high blood pressure in children younger than 17 depend on age, height and gender.

In those 18 and up, readings between 120 over 80 and 140 over 90 are prehypertension; 140 over 90 and higher is high blood pressure.

Explore further: Blacks develop high blood pressure one year faster than whites

shares

Related Stories

Blacks develop high blood pressure one year faster than whites

September 12, 2011
African-Americans with prehypertension develop high blood pressure a year sooner than whites, according to research reported in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Too much salt may damage blood vessels, lead to high blood pressure

June 18, 2012
Eating a high-salt diet for several years may damage blood vessels — increasing your risk of developing high blood pressure, according to research reported in the American Heart Association journal Circulation. People ...

Overweight or obese kids at almost three times greater risk of high blood pressure

October 3, 2011
Overweight or obese children are at three times greater risk for high blood pressure than children of normal weight, according to researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine.

Blood pressure medicines reduce stroke risk in people with prehypertension

December 8, 2011
People with prehypertension had a lower risk of stroke when they took blood pressure-lowering medicines, according to research reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Recommended for you

Expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

October 20, 2017
As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates ...

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

tadchem
not rated yet Sep 17, 2012
Extra salt is simply a symptom of a deficiency in perspiration. Get the kids out doing strenuous physical exercise (play, work, etc.) daily for at least an hour. The benefits of exercise BEGIN when the sweat starts to flow.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.