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Study Finds 9 in 10 Children Eat Too Much Salt

Study Finds 9 in 10 Children Eat Too Much Salt

How much salt is in a child's diet? From french fries to other salty foods in the cafeteria, what schools are feeding their students can be putting them at risk. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 90 percent of American children ages 6 to 18 consume too much sodium daily, said an article on Reuters.com. Those children, the article said "eat an average of about 3,300 mg of sodium daily even before salt is added at the table. That exceeds dietary guidelines calling for less than 2,300 mg per day."

The report found that 43 percent of the sodium comes from 10 popular types of foods, such as pizza, sandwiches like cheeseburgers, cold cuts, and cured meats, pasta with sauce, cheese, potato chips, chicken nuggets, chicken patties, tacos, burritos, bread, and soup.

"Most sodium is from processed and restaurant food, not the salt shaker," CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement. "Reducing sodium intake will help our children avoid tragic and expensive health problems."

According to the report, 65 percent of the sodium intake comes from processed foods sold in stores, fast food restaurants were 13 percent, and school lunches account for 9 percent of total sodium consumption.

"Teenagers ate more sodium than younger children, according to the study that drew from interviews with more than 2,000 school-aged children," the article said. 

The study conducted by CDC said that "the school environment can have a major impact on the diet of school-aged children in the United States."

 "High sodium exposure at school can lead to increased consumption of salt, thereby increasing children’s risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke," the study said. "Efforts are needed to reduce sodium in the school setting. Because schools are settings in which children eat snacks and meals and also learn about health and eating habits, they are ideal settings to offer access to and knowledge about healthful foods as well as opportunities to practice healthy eating habits."

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Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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