Kids high salt intake linked to high blood pressure

TYLER (KYTX) - A new study in the journal 'Pediatrics' shows just how much salt children eat in the U.S., and it's too much. CBS 19's Amanda Roberson has more on what the study means for kids health and the leading high sodium foods.

Too many kids are eating too much salt: twice the amount they should be and sometimes more than adults.

"Packaged foods, processed foods, fast foods, those are all really high sodium types of foods," explained Trinity Clinic Pediatrics Nurse Practitioner Catherine Giordano. 

She said they're salty foods filling up kids stomachs and leading to major health concerns. "It's a preservative and it tastes good so they pack it into a lot of things now but it does increase the chance of high blood pressure."

Giordano said that increases a kids chances of high blood pressure as an adult, and worse. "Having high blood pressure puts you at risk for things like strokes and heart attacks."

How much salt is too much salt? According to the latest government dietary guidelines, kids need at most 1,500 milligrams of salt a day. That's a little more than half a teaspoon. And when it comes to real food, a bowl of chicken noodle soup has almost 900 milligrams of sodium, almost half a days intake.

"We don't eat any of the deli meats like that, even chicken, we get that clean and natural. We cook it ourselves and don't go through the fast food lines or any of that," explained Sarah Shinn of Canton.

Even a picnic lunch for her daughter Julianna revolves around healthy choices and combating high sodium foods. "We just watch it because it's not good for any of us, especially children. They don't really have a say-so. They depend on us to feed them the right foods and teach them."

It's similar advice Giordano gives when she sees patients who have or at risk of high blood pressure. "Making sure that they're getting good diet and exercise, high intake of fruits and vegetables, non processed foods and then limiting the junk food and limiting the prepackaged types of food."

Because there's nothing sweet about a salty diet.

According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, which oversees school lunch programs, the average lunch right now has 1,400 milligrams of sodium. They plan on cutting that number in half in the next ten years.

You can see the time table to achieving that by clicking here.



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