- A poor diet in childhood can lay a foundation
for future health problems
and the fact that kids are consuming
so much sodium these days is a cause for concern.
Too much sodium can increase a child's blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor
for two leading causes of death for U.S. adults,
heart disease and stroke.
With processed and restaurant foods
playing a large role in the U.S. diet,
Americans of all ages are consuming high amounts of sodium.
Our report shows that sodium intake in children and teens
is high and in teens is comparable to that in adults.
Children are eating sodium at every meal
from every setting and from most types of foods.
Over 40% of the sodium comes from 10 types of foods,
including pizza, bread, lunch meats and soup.
Some of these foods may not taste salty,
but are top contributors because kids eat a lot of them.
The bottom line is way too many children
are consuming way too much sodium
mainly through processed and restaurant food.
In response, CDC is working to reduce sodium intake
by promoting local, state, and national actions
as well as enhancing the monitoring of sodium intake
and changes in the food supply.
Achieving the current dietary guidelines for Americans
recommendation of 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day
would be a tremendous public health achievement
that would yield substantial cardiovascular benefits.
Doctors and other healthcare professionals
can play a key role in educating parents and children
about the potential health outcomes
of eating too much sodium.
You can provide tips and guidance on a healthy diet rich in
fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limited
in saturated and trans fats, added sugar and sodium.
Also, encourage young patients and their families
to read nutrition facts labels, compare products
and choose products with the lowest amount of sodium.
This particular report focuses on sodium.
However, CDC supports healthy dietary standards
and food purchasing policies involving a variety of
food components such as sodium, trans fats and added sugar.
Much like sodium, CDC research shows that
most Americans eat too much added sugar.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that
no more than about 5-15% of your total daily calories
come from added sugar and solid fats.
As a result, we encourage people to limit foods
high in sodium, added sugars and solid fats.
Heart disease and stroke and other cardiovascular diseases
kill nearly 800,000 Americans each year
and cost an estimated $315 billion a year
in healthcare and lost productivity.
Gradual, voluntary reductions in sodium are possible
and would save billions of dollars
and tens of thousands of lives.
It's going to take all of us working together to reduce
sodium and provide a healthier future for our children.
CDC Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention