American children eat as much salt as adults – about 1,000 milligrams too much, according to new findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that were published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Extra salt is linked with higher blood pressure, even in kids, but government research says those who are overweight and obese may be most vulnerable to its effects.
Previous research has shown similar results in adults but studies on salt, weight and blood pressure are scarce in children.
The CDC researchers looked at data on 6,200 kids aged 8 to 18 involved in 2003-08 national health surveys. The children were asked twice over several days to detail all foods they'd eaten the previous day; the researchers calculated salt intake from their answers.