A recent study published in the Journal Pediatrics finds kids between the ages of 8-18 are eating as much salt as adults. They're also consuming more than twice the 1,500 daily milligrams recommended by the American Heart Association.
The study says higher sodium intake is linked to higher blood pressure in kids and that boys and obese children are at greater risk.
High sodium diets, along with a
related increase in obesity, are leading to an increase in high blood pressure
Dieticians say higher salt consumption reduces elasticity in arteries, which can cause problems in adulthood. They suggest exposing kids to unsalted versions of foods like pretzels and chips, or low-sodium foods.
"When you have reduced elasticity in your arteries, you're likely to have high blood pressure, so they're directly linked," says Ann Mettler with Mercy Health. "If you're not even an adult and you already have reduced elasticity in your arteries, that's gonna cause problems in children as an adult for sure."
Dieticians also say to try to avoid soda and too many sports drinks because those contain a lot of sodium as well.