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90 Percent American Kids Eat Too Much Salt

Update Date: Sep 10, 2014 02:41 PM EDT

Nine out of 10 American kids eat more salt than the recommended quantity, according to a new federal government report. The excessive intake of salt is raising their lifelong risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that on an average, kids aged 6 to 18 eat 3,300 milligrams of sodium a day, and this is even before the salt is added at the table. 

According to current guidelines, children should eat less than 2,300 milligrams per day. 

These high salt consumption levels are already affecting kids' health, said CDC Deputy Principal Director Ileana Arias.

"One in six children already has raised blood pressure, which can result in high blood pressure in adulthood, as we know a major cause of heart disease and stroke," Arias said. "This is incredibly concerning to us."

The press release added that about 43 percent of the salt ingested by children comes from the 10 foods they eat most often. These food include: pizza, bread and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, savory snacks, sandwiches, cheese, chicken patties and nuggets, pasta dishes, Mexican dishes and soups.

"Some of these foods may not taste salty but they are top contributors because they do have significant sodium content, and children eat a lot of them," Arias said.

"We know that the taste for salt is established through diet at a young age," Arias said. "Not only are children eating too much sodium, they are establishing a high threshold or taste for salt beyond childhood."

According to experts, the longterm effect is a matter of concern. 

"Though kids do not have the same short-term risks from high-salt diets that adults do, as with all aspects of childhood nutrition, the foods our children eat now affect the choices they will go on to make as adults," said Dr. Erica Brody, a pediatrician in the department of pediatrics at the Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai in New York City, in the press release. "This includes excessive sugars, fats and, of course, salt as well."

You can visit this link for more information on salt.

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