Children’s diets ‘far too salty’
Children should eat less than a teaspoon of salt a day, but 70% of the 340 children in the study published in Hypertension ate more than this.
Breads and cereals accounted for more than one-third of the salt in children’s diets. A fifth came from meat and one-tenth from dairy products.
The study authors say efforts must be redoubled because salt increases the risk of high blood pressure from a very young age, and high blood pressure can lead to heart disease and stroke.
For the research, they asked the parents of the 340 children to keep a detailed food diary and take photos of all foods and beverages their child consumed, as well as any leftovers. At the same time, the investigators analysed urine samples from the children to get an objective measure of salt intake.
On average, five and six-year-old children in the study consumed 3.75g of salt a day – more than the recommended 3g maximum.
Eight and nine-year olds consumed 4.72g a day – within their 5g limit.
Thirteen to 17-year-olds consumed 7.55g a day – more than the 6g limit
Boys tended to have higher salt intake than girls, particularly in the older and younger groups – about 1g higher per day in 5 to 6-year-olds, and 2.5g per day higher in 13 to 17-year-olds.
Much of the salt consumed was from processed foods rather than added at the table.
Source and Full Report: BBC