High sodium intake is associated with elevated risk for high blood pressure, especially in obese and overweight children

In the October 2012 edition of Pediatrics, Dr Yang published a paper showing that the average intake of sodium among children is as high as the average intake for adults and higher than the dietary guidelines (Exceeding 2300 mg/day)

Sodium averaged 3387 mg per day and increased with age.

The above was associated with a higher blood pressure and more so in obese children.

In the Calgary Pediatric Weigh Clinic we intentionally set aside time to discuss sodium intake with our families. In Canada—unlike the UK—the federal government applies a hands-off approach.

In Canada, the government is leaving the food industry to decide how much sodium they want to put into their products. The UK government many years ago decided that instead of trusting the food industry to police themselves, legislation is a better way to go.

They legislated lower sodium in foods. It has worked well thus far (cardiovascular diseases and strokes have decreased)

The bottom line for families is simple: read labels well and if at all possible make your own food. When you eat out your risk of eating foods with excessive salt is especially high.


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