More kids battling high blood pressure from salty snacks - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

More kids battling high blood pressure from salty snacks

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Tyler (KYTX) -- High blood pressure isn't just a concern for adults. New statistics show it's a problem for kids and it's grown over the past 13 years. The major culprit? Salty snacks. 

 "It's a must. As soon as we get out of the car, they're screaming what can I have?" Edmonson said.

With two boys ages 6 and 8, the mom admits there's the occasional fast food stop after school.

"Mothers joke often that we're in survival mode and sometimes the happy meal absolutely is part of it," Edmonson said.

But her family is trying to phase that out as much as possible, springing for yogurt or baked crackers instead.

"Fast food meals can really give you your daily allowance of sodium in one meal. It's crazy," Danielle Townsend, Clinical Nutrition Manager at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital, said.

New research published in the journal 'Hypertension' shows 19 percent of boys and 13 percent of girls have high blood pressure, a 27 percent jump over the previous 13 years. 

Researchers from Harvard blame salty snacks.

"I hear a lot from parents their kids just don't like veggies, they don't like the fruits. Well, taste buds change, so keep reintroducing them into their diet," Townsend said.

Edmonson is leading by example.

"If they can create those healthy habits now, they'll have them later on down the road," she said.

The average recommended daily sodium intake for kids is 2,000 to 3,000 mg a day, an amount experts say you could cut by cutting your trip through the drive-thru.

We also have a list of healthy snack ideas here.

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