DALLAS A study published in the new print and online issue of Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association found that children who eat less salt are more likely to drink fewer sugar-sweetened soft drinks. This would allow a significant decrease in their risks for obesity, elevated blood pressure and later-in-life heart attack and stroke.
St. George’s University in London was the first to examine the effects of children’s salt consumption in relation to fluidity consumption. In their 1997 study, a sample of about 1600 people ages 4-18 years old recorded their salt and fluid intake using a seven-day dietary record, and weighed all of their food and drink intake on digital scales.
The study produced findings that there is, in fact, a correlation between salt intake and soft drink consumption. Feng He, a cardiovascular research fellow at St. George’s stated that “From our research, we estimated that 1 gram of salt cut from their daily diet would reduce fluid intake by 100 grams per day.” They also predicted that reducing salt-intake by 1 gram each would reduce sugar-sweetened soft drink intake by 27 grams per day, after considering physical factors in the children like age, and body weight.
By reducing salt intake the researchers believed that there would be significant health benefits for children. He states “It is important for children to eat a low-salt diet to reduce their risk of having a stroke or a heart attack later in life.” Dr. He stated. “All physicians should give their patients appropriate advice on how to reduce salt in their diet.”
In relation to this study, the American Heart Association is also working hard to fight obesity in children by teaming up with the William J. Clinton Foundation and creating the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. To find out more and to contribute to the alliance, visit www.healthiergeneration.org .