Study finds too much salt in kids' diets

CHICAGO (AP) -- A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study has added to the relatively scarce information about how much salt American kids eat -- and it's too much.
The study finds they eat as much salt as adults -- about 1,000 milligrams more than they should. A thousand milligrams is about one Big Mac.
The recommended daily salt or sodium intake for kids and adults is no more than 1 teaspoon daily, or about 2,300 milligrams. On average, the study finds kids eat 3,300 milligrams daily. 

Fifteen percent of the kids studied had either high blood pressure or slightly elevated blood pressure.
Those who ate the most salt faced double the risk of elevated blood pressure, compared with those who ate few salty foods. But among overweight or obese kids, the risk is more than triple.
The findings are online in the journal Pediatrics.

Tips for reducing sodium intake

  • Choose to purchase healthy options and talk with your grocer or favorite restaurant about stocking lower sodium food choices.
  • Read the Nutrition Facts label while shopping to find the lowest sodium options of your favorite foods.
  • Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and frozen fruits and vegetables without sauce.
  • Limit processed foods high in sodium.
  • When eating out, request lower sodium options.
  • Support initiatives that reduce sodium in foods in cafeterias and vending machines.

* Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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