Children’s Obesity May be Linked to Salt

An image of a grain of table salt taken using ...

An image of a grain of table salt taken using a scanning electron microscope. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Australian researchers found an important link between salt intake, sugar-sweetened beverages and a child’s weight. Analyzing data from the 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, which used children aged 2 to 16 years as participants, the researchers found that monitoring children’s salt intake predicted the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages they consumed, and these beverages led to obesity.

The scientists used two interview sessions that helped determine the participants’ salt intake and fluid/sugar-sweetened drink consumption over the previous 24 hours. The participants’ body mass index was calculated from their recorded height and weight.

Here’s what the researchers found:

  • Sixty-two percent of the 4283 participants, drank sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • For each additional one gram per day of salt a child ingested, there was a 46 grams per day greater intake of fluid, adjusted for age, gender, BMI, and socioeconomic status.
  • Of the 2571 participants who reported drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, each additional one gram per day of salt resulted in a 17 grams per day greater intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, adjusted for age, gender, socioeconomic status, and energy.
  • Participants who consumed more than one serving of sugar-sweetened beverages were 26 percent more likely to be overweight or obese. A serving size was considered to be greater than or equal to 250 grams (approximately 9 ounces).
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~ by chasm63 on December 14, 2012.

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