Eating less salt benefits teens’ health: study
Submitted by shaza
Monday, November 15th, 2010 09:41:00
If teens could reduce salt intake by three grams daily, they would enjoy a much healthier life in adulthood, the American Heart Association said in a press release on Sunday.
The release said the study, conducted by researchers at University of California, San Franscisco, was based on a computerized projection of what would happen if adolescent boys and girls were to shave off three grams of salt from their daily consumption of common processed foods.
A daily three-gram drop in consumption of the salt typically found in such foods would reduce the incidence of high blood pressure among teens by between 44 percent and 63 percent, according to the study.
And as these teens age, the high blood pressure incidence reductions would persist, dropping between 30 percent to 43 percent among 35 to 50-year olds, said the study.
The analysis also revealed that by the time teens reached the age of 50, such salt reduction would result in a seven percent to 12 percent drop in heart disease; an eight percent to 14 percent drop in heart attacks; a five percent to eight percent drop in stroke rates; and a five to nine percent drop in deaths due to all causes.
"Reducing the amount of salt that is already added to the food that we eat could mean that teenagers live many more years free of hypertension," said study lead author Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at the university.
"The additional benefit of lowering salt consumption early is that we can hopefully change the expectations of how food should taste, ideally to something slightly less s salty," Bibbins-Domingo said.
In the United States, teens are the main consumers of salt. Their daily ingestion of nine grams of salt per day is higher than any other age group, according to the study.
Approximately 80 percent of salt intake comes from processed and/or prepared foods.
More than one-third of that salt is specifically found in cereals, breads, and pastries, while pizza ranks as the nation's king of salt, the study authors said.