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Children eating too much salt

1st March 2011

Research has shown that children in England are consuming levels of salt in excess of the recommended daily maximum for adults.

salt and sugar

Figures compiled by the Health Supplement Information Service (HSIS) showed that children aged seven to 14 were eating an average of 6.4g for males and 5.6g for females. The RDA for adults is 6g of salt per day.

The researchers said that reducing salt intake by 42% in children from the ages of eight to 16 could cause improvements in blood pressure levels.

HSIS reviewed previous research involving over 50 studies and papers on children's diet.

The researchers said that while children's diets had seen an improvement in recent years, there were still problems that needed to be dealt with urgently.

Independent dietitian and public health nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton and Dr Emma Derbyshire, a senior lecturer in human nutrition at Manchester Metropolitan University, discovered that children were often not getting the right levels of nutrients and ate too much fat, salt and sugar.

Dr Ruxton said: "Overall, there has been some progress in improving children's diets, although it is slow. Intakes of fat have reduced to below dietary targets, while intakes of vitamins A and C, and calcium, have increased marginally."

"However, further improvements are needed. Children's salt intakes are particularly high, exceeding the maximum recommendations set for adults. There remains a clear need to improve children's diets to safeguard their future health."

 

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