Salt consumption is causing a health crisis in America. Obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure… all these things are linked to salt consumption, and Americans eat a lot of it. This habit starts young, apparently. Children in the United States eat 3387 milligrams of salt per day, according to a new study being released in the journal Pediatrics. That’s double their advised limit of 1500 milligrams and nearly as much as the daily limit for adults.
“It’s very disturbing that this nation’s children and teens consume too much salt in their diets at school and home. High blood pressure, once viewed as an adult illness is now affecting more young people because of high sodium diets and increasing obesity,” said a statement released by American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown. ”While new nutrition standards for school meals are helping, progress is slow. The salt we all eat daily is becoming a major public health issue and current approaches to sodium reduction in the United States have not been effective. We must make the reduction of sodium a national priority.”
The majority of the salt in the US diet, 75 percent, comes from processed food, restaurant food, and beverages. For every 1000 mg of sodium consumed, the amount of obese youth increased by 74 percent. So that’s not just one, but two public health issues tangled into one.
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