Cereals, Breads Found As Major Sources of Sodium in Youth

(HealthDay News) — Despite the launch of a salt reduction campaign in the United Kingdom in 2003, dietary salt intake remains high among children and adolescents in South London, with cereals, breads, meat, and milk products as major culprits, according to research published online March 10 in Hypertension.

Naomi M. Marrero, PhD, of St. George’s University of London, and colleagues reviewed 24-hour photographic food diaries and measured 24-hour urinary sodium excretion to assess dietary salt intake in children and adolescents.

The researchers found that 66% of children aged 5–6 years, 73% of those aged 8–9 years, and 73% of those aged 13–17 years, consumed levels of salt that exceeded the maximum daily recommendations. The main sources of dietary salt included cereal and cereal-based products (36%; which included bread [15%]), meat products (19%), and milk and milk products (11%).

“The study demonstrates that salt intake in children is still very high despite the implementation of a nationwide salt-reduction strategy, and further reductions in manufactured foods are required,” the authors write.

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