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Salt Intake at Childhood Decides Obesity Status at Adulthood

 

Too much salt consumption at childhood, can result in obesity in adulthood. Pic Courtesy: timesleisure.com

 

I have always wondered, why is it now, that one gets to see more obese adults than before? Of course there are numerous reasons accorded for this phenomenon; sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy food being the foremost causes.

Is it possible that what one eats as a kid, acts as a primer as to how the body shape and weight would be as an adult? Yes, as per latest research published in the journal Pediatrics.

TIME reports about this latest research carried out by Carley Grimes, the study’s lead author, dietitian and doctoral student at Deakin University in Australia.

For the purpose of the study Grimes studied 4,283 Australian kids in the age group of 2 to 16. The relationship between salt intake and sugary drinks was closely monitored. It was observed that on an average the kids were eating approximately 6 g of salt per day (just a little more than a teaspoon). Now, 6 g of salt is way too high for the kids, since they should be consuming about 3 to 5 g only (age dependent of course).

Studies show that a whopping 62% of the children, who were part of the study group, drank sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, flavored mineral waters, sports, energy drinks and fruit drinks on a regular basis.  Downing sugary drinks become a habit, small wonder it leads to obesity in adulthood.

The researchers analyzed that for every gram of salt the kids ate, they also drank 17 g of sugary drinks! While the kids who did not frequently drink sugar-sweetened beverages ate half a gram of salt less than the group of kids who drank sugary drinks.

In other words, salty diet makes the kids crave for sugary drinks. It is related.

Regarding the calculations, Grimes says,

That’s significant. It’s a bag of chips a day.

So as you can see, it is imperative that as parents and caregivers of young kids, the dietary intake of salt is closely monitored. Not, only will this lead to healthier eating choices, but it would also help your child not become a victim of obesity and related health issues like high blood pressure.

Karen Congro, nutritionist and director of the Wellness for Life program at the Brooklyn Hospital Center is not surprised at the findings. Sharing her views, Congro says,

To avoid overdoing the sodium, I suggest tasting food before salting it and cooking at home where the amount of salt can be controlled. We can probably go further and say that kids who eat salty foods and drink sweetened beverages are also more likely to eat fewer vegetables, less calcium-rich foods, such as milk and yogurt, and more fast food.

 

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