Study: Salt Intake Leading to Health Issues in Kids

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CLEVELAND  – A new study about kids and salt could leave a bitter taste in your mouth; kids are eating too much of it, and it's causing their blood pressure to rise, researchers said.

“I am surprised at how much above the recommended amount of sodium kids are taking in," University Hospitals Clinical Dietician Janet Kramer said.

Researchers studied more than 6,000 kids between the ages of 8 and 18. On average, they consumed 3,387 milligrams of sodium a day, the study showed. More than double the USDA recommended adequate intake of 1,500 mg a day.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, showed overweight and obese kids tend to eat the most sodium, and their blood pressure also rose the most.

Kramer said one of the worst food choices when it comes to high sodium is processed, ramen-style noodles.  Just one container, including the flavor packet, can be nearly 2,000 mg of sodium. What else should parents avoid?

"It's more or less in all processed foods," Kramer said.  That includes ready-to-eat meats, cheeses, chips and pizza. Kramer said it is up to parents to make the change.

"Look for low sodium, look for fresh, look for foods that aren't processed and package: fruits, vegetables, meats that haven't been processed," Kramer said.

"I try to buy fresh foods because we all know that preservatives are full of salt and sodium," parent Shawonna Gray said.

"We have high blood pressure in our family. It's something I will have to think about," parent Leslie Boehnlein said.