What Can Parents Do?

High sodium diets in children lead to elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, according to a study based on data collected in the U.K. National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

Research published in the Journal of Hypertension found that for each extra gram of sodium eaten there was a 0.4 mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure.

The study looked at 1,658 children who had their salt intake and blood pressure recorded during a seven-day study of their diet.

The message for parents? Check labels, especially on foods such as breakfast cereals and snack products which may not be expected to contain high levels of sodium.

Read about the effects sodium has on your child’s health and get tips on maintaining the adequate sodium intake for children here.

Eating too much sodium in childhood can lead to a preference for salty foods and,
consequently, an increased risk of disease as an adult.

- Dr. Kevin Willis,
Canadian Stroke Network