ABC World News: New Report. Salt May Be Harming Our Kids Health.

Salt09-17-2017 ABC World News with Diane Sawyer reported that a new study published in “Pediatrics,” The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, finds that children and teens are consuming as much sodium as adults putting them at risk for high blood pressure.  In fact of the more than 6000 kids in the study, 15% had high or elevated blood pressure (37% were overweight or obese).   In the 1970s just 1% had high or elevated blood pressure! 

High blood pressure can weaken blood vessels causing strokes and vision problems.  It can also lead to kidney failure and cardiovascular disease.  Children should consume no more than 2300 mg per day.  That’s a little less than a teaspoon.  But the study found on average children consumed over 3300 mg per day which is nearly the same average consumption as that for adults and which is considered too much for adults!

Where is it coming from?

ABC’s Sharyn Alfonsi says a single serving of mac and cheese can have almost one half days of sodium, 890 mg.  A 5 ounce slice of cheese pizza can have about 850 mg.  One half cup of spaghetti sauce has about 480 mg.  And a handful of chicken nuggets about 470 mg.

Tara Harwood, Pediatric Dietitian at Cleveland Clinic says she doesn’t believe that most parents are paying attention to the sodium content because we didn’t realize it until the study came out that sodium intake in children was just as high as adults.

Sharyn Alfonsi reminds us that doctors say like adults,  kids that eat salty foods can actually develop a taste or a preference for salty foods as early as six months old.  So you should pay attention to the crackers and cereal that are given to infants because some of those are loaded with sodium as well.

How do you know if you are getting too much sodium?

You may want to use a free online nutrient calculator such as The RightTrak.com. The RightTrak.com can calculate your safe range of ‘Sodium Intake’ as well the Recommended Daily Allowances(RDA) for over 30 nutrients while it is calculating your BMI. You can then select a variety of foods and The RightTrak will add up the ‘Sodium’ values of your selected foods and also add up other nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, beta carotene…and more. The RightTrak will turn Green if those allowances are met or Red if those allowances are not met.

Spend some time on the site and do several food searches. You will quickly learn what food choices give you and your loved ones the most “Nutrient Bang for Your Buck!”

Related Article – Sodium Intake and Blood Pressure Among US Children and Adolescents

 

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