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Bread and cereal add the most salt to UK kids’ diets

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Eating too much salt isn’t just an American thing. A study from March 2014 found that kids in London eat too much salt — with 36 percent of it coming from bread and cereal products. The UK has a program to reduce salt by cutting the salt in supermarket and restaurant foods. But more efforts are needed — in the UK and in the U.S. Salt starts increasing kids’ risk of high blood pressure when they are as young as 1 year old.

Nearly 80 percent of 1-3 year olds and more than 90 percent of 4-18 year-olds in the U.S. get too much sodium, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to a federal nutrition survey, boys 6 to 11 eat an average of more than 3,000 mg/day of sodium, with girls not far behind. Boys 12 to 19 get more than 4,000 mg/day.

In the UK study of kids 5 to 17, teens 13 to 17 ate the most salt — 7.55 grams per day, which is equal to more than 3,000 mg sodium. The youngest kids in the study (ages 5-6) ate 3.75 grams per day, or 1,500 mg sodium. Boys in those two age groups ate more salt than girls.

The American Heart Association recommends adults and children get less than 1,500 mg of sodium, which is equivalent to about 3.75 grams of salt, per day.

Post a comment to share how you help your kids avoid the heartbreak of too much salt.