SALT Overload: New CDC Study: Kids Are Eating Too Much (VIDEOs)
Salt may be the new "sugar". Kids are eating some 1,000 milligrams more salt than they ought to be - every day.
A new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that children are eating about as much salt as adults do. And that is too much. The new findings from a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics. As reported by Reuters Health, the government study also shows a clear link between sodium intake and higher blood pressure. As summarized by ABC news, the children who are eating the most salt face double the risk of having elevated blood pressure, compared with those who ate few salty foods. Among overweight and obese kids, the risk triples.
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"The American diet clearly is very high in sodium," said Dr. Frederick Kaskel, chief of pediatric nephrology at Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York, to Reuters Health. Dr. Kaskel was not personally involved in the research."Not only is the high sodium something to be avoided, but it is also indicative of an unhealthy diet," he added.
To see a video on other cultures dietary intakes, and advice, regarding salt: GO HERE
To watch and hear from another viewpoint about cutting down on salt, as shown on an older video from ABC, called The Assault on Salt, see here.
This new study may stir a salt debate. Although the medical and health authorities around the world have long warned consumers to lower their salt-intake, a number of other studies have suggested that not getting enough salt can also be harmful. As reported by The Chicago Tribune, "The salt industry has pounced on that research, saying the dietary guidelines for sodium intake are flawed and should be withdrawn."
The CDC study was based on national surveys involving more than 6,200 children and adolescents from the ages of 8 to 18. Bottom Line is: Overall, 15 percent had either high blood pressure or slightly elevated blood pressure called prehypertension.
Details: The kids had all their blood pressure measured between one and three times a day, and were keeping track diet of their diet intake, too. The kids were found to be eating 3,387 milligrams of sodium every day - on average. Government guidelines have recommended that 2,300 mg (which is about one teaspoon of salt) should be the upper maximum, per day.
U.S. adults consume 3,466 mg of sodium per day by comparison, according to previous data from the CDC. (And once your blood pressure is up - it can be difficult to get it under control. Another recent CDC study revealed that "Despite the well-known perils of high blood pressure, more than half of the 67 million American adults who have the condition don't have it under control, as reported by USAToday -- here.)
What is new is that there have not been that many studies of children, and obesity and diabetes among children is also on the rise in America. What's most troubling is that the findings connecting higher intake of salt and higher blood pressure was particularly strong among overweight and obese children, reported Quanhe Yang from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who did work on the study.
Details: For every 1,000 mg of extra sodium in the children's diets, there was a correlating one-point rise increase in blood pressure. Among overweight and obese kids, each 1,000 mg of sodium can be linked to a blood pressure increase of 1.5 points.
And that could be a double whammy, because both high blood pressure and excessive pounds are risk and indicatory future factors for cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and stroke.
As Dr. Frederick Kaskel, of Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York said, " We shouldn't underestimate the potential harms of a 1-mm increase in systolic blood pressure."
For more information on how Salt Affects Children: see WASH (World Action on Salt).
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