Kids eat as much salt as adults, CDC says

CHICAGO — American children eat as much salt as adults — about 1,000 milligrams too much, or the same amount as in just one Big Mac. 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were published online today in the journal Pediatrics.

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 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 high blood pressure 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 salty foods. But among overweight or obese kids, the risk was more than triple.

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, 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.

———

Online:

Pediatrics: http://www.pediatrics.org

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov

Blood pressure charts: http://tinyurl.com/8k6egur

———

Associated Press

More in Local News

It’s hard to find a parking spot at Wallace Falls State Park

There’s a study under way on how to tackle that issue and others.

At long last, a church of his own

After years of filling in elsewhere, Hallack Greider is the new pastor at Maplewood Presbyterian.

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Outgoing councilwoman honored by Marysville Fire District

The Marysville Fire District in December honored outgoing City Councilwoman Donna Wright… Continue reading

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Ex-Monroe cop re-arrested after losing sex crime case appeal

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison but was free while trying to get his conviction overturned.

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Number of flu-related deaths in county continues to grow

Statewide, 86 people have died from the flu, most of whom were 65 or older.

Most Read