High salt intake has dire consequences for kids in the U.S. - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

High salt intake has dire consequences for kids in the U.S.

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KHQ.COM- According to the Centers for Disease Control, multiple studies show if Americans collectively cut the amount of sodium they eat by 40 percent, it could save between 280,000 and 500,000 lives over a 10 year span. Some of the youngest of our population, America's kids, have not been able to escape the salt trap that puts them at risk of high blood pressure and one of the nation's leading killers, heart disease.

Federal health officials say most kids in the U.S. eat 1/3 more than the recommended amount of salt and two of the biggest snack culprits are pizza and bread. According to the CDC, U.S. school-aged children consumed an estimated 3,279 milligrams of sodium daily, that's well over the recommended amount of 2,300 milligrams a day.

According to NBC News, studies show that eating a lot of salt can raise blood pressure, not in every single person, but in a significant percentage of the population. The latest survey of what kids eat shows that more than 90 percent of them are eating far too much salt. And they are not getting it from the salt shaker. There are a number of foods with high sodium counts including: cold cuts, cured meats, savory snacks, sandwiches, cheese, chicken patties/nuggets/tenders, pasta mixed dishes and soups.

Researchers found that 65 percent of salt the kids eat comes from store-bought foods, 13 percent from fast food and pizza restaurants, and 9 percent from school cafeterias.

With the rise in sodium intake comes the rise of high blood pressure in America's children. The CDC says one in six U.S. children have borderline or high blood pressure and a third of the entire U.S. population has high blood pressure.

According to NBC News, The American Heart Association advises that some people should cut salt to as low as 1,500 milligrams a day but there have been other published studies that challenge that idea.

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