Salt and your health

This year’s focus is on salt and children.

Our bodies need a little bit of salt to survive, but the amount we eat is far more than we require. Evidence has shown that eating too much salt regularly puts us at increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is the main cause of strokes and a major cause of heart attacks and heart failures.

Like adults, children consume more salt than the maximum recommendation. Simple measures need to be taken to help reduce salt intake, and therefore reduce the number of people suffering from cardiovascular disease.

Evidence suggests that dietary habits in childhood and adolescence also influence eating patterns in later life.

Liking salt and salty foods is a learned taste preference and so it is vital that children do not develop a taste for salt in the first place.

Further to this, high salt intake in children can influence blood pressure and may predispose a child to the development of a number of diseases including: high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and respiratory illnesses such as asthma, stomach cancer and obesity.

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