Nearly all American children over six and under 18 eat too much salt, mainly from processed foods like cheese crackers and chicken patties, putting them at risk for developing high blood pressure and heart disease later, according to a new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than 90 percent of children consume dangerously high levels of sodium, and 43 percent of their salt intake comes from favorite snacks like pizza, bread, cold cut meat, cheese and chicken nuggets.
“Too many children are consuming way too much sodium,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden in a statement. “Most sodium is from processed and restaurant food, not the salt shaker. Reducing sodium intake will help our children avoid tragic and expensive health problems.”
About 65 percent of children’s sodium consumption comes from store-bought foods, 13 percent from fast food and pizza restaurant meals and 9 percent from school cafeterias, the report said.
“Parents can establish healthy eating habits in their children by providing a diet high in fruits and vegetables without added sodium,” the report suggested.