How to Reduce the Amount of Salt in Kids’ Diets (Part 2)

How to Reduce the Amount of Salt in Kids’ Diets (Part 2)

Maldon sea salt flakes

Too much salt is dangerous for kids’ health.  Kids today eat far more salt than is healthy for them.  Yesterday we looked at some ways to avoid eating too much salt and to reduce the amount of salt in your kids’ diets.  Today we will look at a few more really important strategies to keep your kids from eating too much salt.

Read Nutritional Labels

Learn how to read nutritional labels and teach your kids, too.  Look for the line that says “sodium” and choose the lowest sodium option.  Look for foods with no added salt or low sodium labels.  Try to select foods with less than 120mg of sodium per 100g of food.  You will be surprised at how quickly the amount of sodium in what you eat adds up over the course of a day!  The Heart Foundation recommends that 4-8 year olds consume only 300-600mg of sodium per day.  Once you start reading nutrition labels, you will be surprised how quickly your child hits that upper limit!

Sea Salt Kettle Chips

Make Avoiding Salt a Game

Make avoiding high sodium foods a fun game for kids.  It is a great tool for teaching math skills, too.  Have kids help you plan meals with less salt, and get them to help you when you are grocery shopping.  Have them add up the amount of salt in each ingredient for each meal of the day.  Then talk about the amount of salt they will be eating each day and how to lower it.  Make a competition to see which child can come up with the lowest sodium meal plan for a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, or dinners, with the prize being that those will be the meals served that week.

The amount of salt in potato chips is unsurprisingly very high

Avoid High Sodium Processed & Restaurant Foods

Did you know that 43% of the salt kids eat comes from just 10 types of food?  That’s right!  Pizza, bread/rolls, cold cuts/cured meats, savory snacks, sandwiches, cheese, chicken patties/nuggets, mixed pasta dishes, mixed Mexican dishes, and soups account for 43% of the sodium kids consume.  Some of these foods most of us recognize as salty food items: salty ham cold cuts, pizza, cheese, and potato chips are all foods we recognize as super salty.  Some foods, we might not think of as high in salt until we really give it some thought, like pasta dishes, Mexican food, and soup.

But at least one of these items comes as a surprise to most people: bread.  Bread is often very high in both sugar and salt.  Bread is very easy to make at home.  If you are wary of making your own bread, investing in a bread machine will really pay off in the long run.  A loaf of bread that costs several dollars in the store costs just cents at home, and you can control what goes into it – no preservatives, low salt, low sugar, and whole wheat flour, plus the option to add seeds or dried fruit!

Cooking Salt

Some processed foods contain salt when they do not even need to.  One of the most common culprits is peanut butter.  Peanut butter marketed to kids in brightly colored containers is often full of salt, sugar, and oil.  None of these things is necessary to make peanut butter taste good!  Get a high quality organic pure peanut or almond butter.  Some stores now even offer to let you make the peanut butter yourself on the spot using a special machine.  If so, let your child participate, perhaps choosing which nut butter they want (if multiple options are available) and letting them pull the lever or press the start/stop button.

Another processed food high in sodium is the sandwich meat we often give our kids for lunch.  Cold cuts and preserved meats are generally very high in salt content.  If you do want your child eating a meat sandwich, make some extra meat with dinner and use that instead.  For instance, make a sandwich with sliced turkey or chicken breast that has been cooked in a healthy way, rather than using salty sliced deli meats.

Be aware of other processed foods that often contain a lot of salt as a preservative.  Canned food is often high in salt and/or sugar.  Consider replacing canned vegetables with frozen vegetables, which should not have any additives.  Avoid other canned convenience foods like soups or beans, which use salt to preserve them, and if you do buy canned vegetables or bean, rinse them off with fresh water before cooking or serving.  Food in jars often faces the same problem, as salt and sugar are used to preserve foods at room temperature.

Top 10 Sources of Salt in Kids' Diets

Also avoid eating high sodium foods in restaurants and fast food joints.  If you request it, these establishments should be able to give you the nutritional information for their products before you order.  Then choose one of the lower sodium options.  You can also ask that no salt be added to your food during cooking.  And definitely do not add extra salt to your dish even if there is a salt shaker on the table!  If you think this may be a temptation for your child, ask the waiter to remove it.

Conclusion

Simply by switching to lower sodium options and not adding salt to home cooking, you can dramatically reduce your child’s salt intake.  Making this switch does not have to be that difficult.  Just cook as you always have, but take the salt shaker off the table and stop adding salt to your food.  At first the foods may seem a bit bland, but as your taste buds adapt you will really enjoy the flavors of the foods themselves.  It only takes a few weeks for your taste buds to adapt!  For processed foods, check labels to choose lower sodium options, or scan them with a smartphone app like FoodSwitch that list healthier alternatives.

Reminders for how to reduce salt intake from the CDC

 

How to Reduce the Amount of Salt in Kids’ Diets (Part 1)

How to Reduce the Amount of Salt in Kids’ Diets (Part 1)

Australian Lake Salt

Over the last couple of days I have been looking at the dangers to kids’ health when they eat too much salt.  Recommendations for how much salt to consume are actually listing the maximum amount of salt one can safely eat daily, not how much one should eat.  And although they can’t seem to agree on the ideal amount of salt kids should consume, scientists and experts all agree that the maximum amount is way too high.  So, how can we reduce the amount of salt in our kids’ diet?

Great SALT ernatives USDA infographic

Take Salt Off the Table

The first step to reducing salt intake is to reduce the amount of salt kids are eating at home.  Many families place salt and pepper on the dinner table and each family member can season their food accordingly.  Studies show that kids who add salt at the table have higher systolic blood pressure than those who don’t.*  Remove salt from the table and kids won’t add it at the table.  This reduces their risk of having high blood pressure.  One in every six children has high blood pressure!  This increases their risk of suffering heart attack or stroke later in life threefold.  Taking salt off the table is a crucial first step to reducing this risk.

Taking salt off the table also teaches children not to add salt to prepared foods even when they are in a situation where it is available.  Kids who make it a habit to add salt to food might even develop the habit of adding it without tasting the food previously.  Restaurant foods and prepared foods, with their high amounts of sodium, then get extra salt on top of them, making them even less healthy.  Kids who add salt to their food at the table also begin to slide down the slippery slope of adding more and more as they become accustomed to the flavor and their taste buds are corrupted.  However, kids who do not see a saltshaker on the table at home do not become accustomed to adding salt to their food, nor do they get used to the flavor of salt and need it on everything.

Maldon sea salt flakes

Eat Fresh Foods

Replace processed snack foods with healthy, fresh alternatives.  Raw fruits and vegetables are great snacks for kids: portable, and delicious.  Instead of sending potato chips as a midmorning snack, send an apple or banana.  Make up a fresh fruit salad or blend fruits together to make a smoothie.  Using raw fresh fruits is a great way to get your child eating healthier and will also avoid excess salt.  Replace salty snacks with unsalted raw or toasted nuts (although this may not work for school, it will work at home!)  You may also consider dehydrated or freeze dried fruits and vegetables, as well.  Dehydrated fruit like raisins or apricots are commonly available.  Freeze dried vegetables like peas or green beans are becoming more widely available, as are freeze dried fruits like strawberry, banana, and mango.  Kids will enjoy freeze dried vegetables and fruits as a snack alternative because they are so crunchy and fun to eat.  They give the same feeling of eating a crunchy potato chip, but without the oil and salt!

Fresh fruit platter

Cook More at Home

Prepared foods are much higher in sodium than foods prepared at home.  Processed, packaged foods use salt both for flavor and as a preservative.  Restaurants apply salt liberally to enhance the flavor of their foods.  Foods cooked at home tend to be much lower in sodium because home chefs add less salt than the commercial versions.  For instance, last night I made a vegan bolognese sauce to put over pasta.  I did not add any salt to it at all and it tasted great!  In processed jars of pasta sauce one serving of sauce might have 300 mg of sodium all the way up to 1,000 mg!  1,000 mg of sodium in one cup of pasta with sauce is a crazy amount – it would mean a home chef adding nearly 1 tablespoon of salt per 1 cup of pasta with sauce.  I hope no home cooks do that!

Food cooked at home not only has more salt, but it tends to be healthier overall.  Kids who eat home-cooked meals eat more fruits and vegetables, as well as less salt, sugar, and fat.  Home-cooked family meals also promote togetherness and good relationships.  So cooking at home can really pay off!

Even super sweet rice krispie treats contain a large amount of salt.  Percent daily values are based on the maximum amount an adult should consume.  Children should consume half of that amount as an absolute maximum, and even then the ideal is to consume about one fifth of that.  50mg sodium may be closer to 10% of what a child should be consuming daily in a healthy diet!

Even super sweet rice krispie treats contain a large amount of salt. Percent daily values are based on the maximum amount an adult should consume. Children should consume half of that amount as an absolute maximum, and even then the ideal is to consume about one fifth of that. 50mg sodium may be closer to 10% of what a child should be consuming daily in a healthy diet!

Don’t Add Salt to Cooking

Most people add salt to food as they are cooking almost without thinking about it.  But salt is not necessary for food to taste good.  When you cook at home, you have the power to control flavors.  Most foods can use substitutes for salt.  Scrambled eggs, for instance, often include salt.  But perhaps instead of adding salt, you can add different flavors.  Season eggs with lemon and parsley, cumin, coriander, or ground pepper.  Seasoning common foods with fresh herbs and ground spices gives those foods a new, exotic, exciting flavor, and makes them seem more fancy.  Kids and adults alike will not miss the salt in a well-seasoned dish.

Absolutely do not add salt to food for your baby or infant!  Babies’ immature kidneys cannot handle the additional sodium.  Always be careful to feed babies homemade food or food specially formulated for infants.  Even if the ingredients list looks the same as it does for adult foods, adult food salt contents are higher.  Excess salt intake in babies can even be fatal.

If your dish needs some salt, add the tiniest amount possible.  A small pinch will usually suffice.  Use the healthiest kind of salt out there, so it will include other trace minerals rather than just the sodium and chloride that is in table salt.  I use pink Himalayan salt or natural sea salt if I need to season my cooking, and if I do decide to sprinkle my own dish with a bit of salt, I use Maldon sea salt flakes.  Choose the highest quality salt you can, preferably a kind with additional nutrients and minerals.  It might cost more, but you’ll be using it sparingly enough it should last for a long, long time.

pink himalayan salt

More great tips to come tomorrow! – Read on for How to Reduce the Amount of Salt in Kids’ Diets (Part 2)

*Gregory J, L.S., Bates CJ, Prentice A, Jackson L, Smithers G, Wenlock R, Farron M., National Diet and Nutrition Survey: young people aged 4 to 18 years. Vol. 1: Report of the diet and nutrition survey. 2000, London: The Stationery Office. 271-336.

Salt: How Much Do Kids Need?

Salt: How Much Do Kids Need?

US Centers for Disease Control Vital Signs Informational on Salt

Salt is an essential mineral for good health, but most kids today eat far more than they should. Eating too much salt is unhealthy and can lead to many different health problems. Most of this comes in the form of processed or restaurant foods, which makes it difficult for people to make good judgments about what foods to avoid.  It makes it challenging to determine just how much sodium is being consumed per day.

Even super sweet rice krispie treats contain a large amount of salt.  Percent daily values are based on the maximum amount an adult should consume.  Children should consume half of that amount as an absolute maximum, and even then the ideal is to consume about one fifth of that.  50mg sodium may be closer to 10% of what a child should be consuming daily in a healthy diet!

Even super sweet rice krispie treats contain a large amount of salt. Percent daily values are based on the maximum amount an adult should consume. Children should consume half of that amount as an absolute maximum, and even then the ideal is to consume about one fifth of that. 50mg sodium may be closer to 10% of what a child should be consuming daily in a healthy diet!

Salt is a preservative and is therefore ubiquitous in processed foods.  Even “sweet” foods generally contain at least a bit of sodium and foods that are really salty contain lots.  A child’s lunch sandwich will contain lots of sodium: in the bread, the mayonnaise, and the cheese (or meat).  There is even sodium in some soft drinks, especially those designed for sports.  They are meant to replace electrolytes, one of which is salt.  But most kids today consume way too much salt and do not need additional salt in their drinks, too!

It is rare to find children (or anyone) suffering from a salt deficiency due to a lack of salt in the diet.  Sometimes adults who are suffering from severe water retention or athletes who are doing intense workouts over long periods of time can end up with a sodium deficiency in their blood.  But this is not due to not consuming enough salt (the notable exception being in users of the drug Ecstacy, but if this is an issue for your child then you have bigger problems than just trying to get them to eat a healthy diet!).  Indeed, even people in those situations might be consuming too much salt on a regular basis.  However, due to other diseases or intense physical exercise for a long period of time, their salt reserves drop down.

This large pinch of salt is 3 grams of salt.  Many people will add this much salt or more to a dish they are cooking!

This large pinch of salt is 3 grams of salt. Many people will add this much salt or more to a dish they are cooking!

Fear of developing hyponatremia (salt deficiency) is not a good reason to load your kids up with salt.  With the amount of dietary sodium readily available in processed foods your child will have a hard time not eating too much salt, but will not have any trouble getting enough to live a healthy life.  In fact, even adults need only 500-2,400 mg or 0.5-2.4 grams daily to be healthy (please note the wide variance of 480%!).  That 2,400 mg or 2.4 g daily dose is the very upper limit of the safe and healthy recommendations out there today.  In fact, most organizations recommend that adults keep their sodium intake below 1,500 mg (1.5 g).

Here is a fact many people do not know: The amount of recommended salt intake and the amount of recommended sodium intake are two different things.  Table salt is only about 40% sodium.  Therefore, you have to be aware of what you are trying to avoid and how much.  For instance, a maximum recommendation of 6 grams of salt is 2.4 grams of sodium.

Here are the recommendations for the maximum amount of salt kids should have in their diets, according to the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, Salt and Health:

Age Maximum Salt Intake
0-6 months <1g / day
6-12 months 1g / day
1-3 years 2g / day
4-6 years 3g / day
7-10 years 5g / day
11 years and above 6g / day

However, these recommendations are for amount of salt.  This is measurable when you are doing absolutely all food preparation at home, using table salt.  However, most of us do buy processed foods and the nutrition labels list only the amount of sodium, not the amount of salt.  To calculate whether our kids are eating too much salt, we need to know the maximum amount of sodium foods contain.  When changed to reflect sodium intake rather than salt, the maximum recommended amount of sodium looks like this:

Age Maximum Sodium Intake
0-6 months <0.4g / day
6-12 months 0.4g / day
1-3 years 0.8g / day
4-6 years 1.2g / day
7-10 years 2g / day
11 years and above 2.4g / day

See the difference?

These maximums are actually on the high end of the spectrum, as many organizations, such as the American Heart Association, recommend that adult intakes stay below 1.5g sodium daily, and, as I mentioned above, the minimum recommended intake is actually 0.5 g sodium daily.

That’s part of what makes it so hard to determine how much salt your kids should have – the recommendations are maximum upper limits, not ideal amounts.  You don’t want to actually aim for these amounts – you want to be well below them!  Yet the percent daily values listed on nutrition panels are based on the maximums, so it looks as if there is not as much sodium in the food as there really is.

Sea Salt Kettle Chips

Take a look at the nutrition panel above, which is for sea salt flavor kettle chips.  There are 120 mg of salt in one serving, which is 25 grams.  Most of us will not eat only 25 grams of chips, but suppose you did.  The 120 mg of sodium is listed here as 5% of the daily recommended value, which conveys the sense that it is fine to eat 2,400 mg of sodium daily, far above the upper limit of 1,500 recommended by many organizations – and that is for adults!  If a child ate even a small amount of chips, they would be getting a significant percentage of the healthy daily amount.

Babies/Newborns

Babies do not need any added salt in their diet.  Babies’ kidneys are not yet fully developed and they are too immature to cope with added salt in their diets.  During the important first formative months, it is especially crucial that babies be allowed to grow naturally.  Babies on a breastmilk or formula diet do get just a very tiny amount of sodium in their diet.  Their diet is specially formulated to provide exactly what they need and nothing more.  Too much sodium can be especially harmful for very young babies.

Infants

Infants who are being introduced to solids and/or weaned off breast milk and formula should not be given any additional salt in their diet.  Infant foods are specially formulated not to contain added sodium.  It is just not necessary or healthy for babies.  You may taste some baby food and think it tastes bland, but it does not taste bland to babies, whose taste buds have not yet become accustomed to strong flavors.  Just imagine – if you drank nothing but milk, eating plain steamed peas and carrots would taste amazing, interesting, and new.  Babies do not need any added salt, so do not add any to their food.   As babies grow up, you may choose to give them some snacks (for instance, I gave my babies a few Bamba occasionally, which is quite salty).  If you give them snacks every once in a while, they will definitely get plenty of sodium in their diet.  Just be careful not to give them too many processed foods, and avoid using things like commercial sauces and spreads, as they often have a lot of added salt.

Children

Childhood is the best time to inspire healthy kids.  Do this by continuing to avoid adding any salt to meals.  A tiny pinch of salt in a dish can help bring out the inherent flavors in vegetables, but if you can taste the salt in a dish you cook, it is too much salt.  Really, the rule of thumb is that the less salt you add to home cooking, the better – ideally adding no salt at all.  Kids who do not eat salt in food at home are more likely to be getting the right amount of sodium.  There is a lot of sodium in processed foods, so kids get plenty of sodium from the processed or restaurant foods purchased.

Kids who do not develop a taste for salty food when they are young are more likely to eat a healthy amount of salt as adults.  A good example would be my husband and I.  His mother never added salt to everything, whereas my mother added lots of salt to her food.   As a child I developed a taste for salt that has never left me.  After getting married, I began cooking food without adding any salt and slowly I am getting used to it, although I still sometimes find it bland.  My husband, on the other hand, has the ability to detect salt even in foods to which I have not added it!

In my house, we rarely consume any processed foods.  I make almost every meal from scratch.  We eat a lot of salads and most meals are paired with brown rice rather than bread.  Even our ice cream and yogurt are homemade!  We only eat in restaurants a few times a year.  Our kids get most of the sodium in their diets from crackers, which they get to eat a couple times a week, and from Vegemite, which they also get only rarely.

Teenagers

Teens, especially females, have to be very wary of salt intake.  The foods that are marketed to and are popular among teenagers tend to be things like burgers, chicken nuggets, pizzas, chips, cakes, and cookies.  All of these processed foods are high in sodium and teens can easily eat way too much salt.  Girls reach their peak bone mass at puberty and consuming too much salt during this critical time of formation and development can result in girls’ bones not attaining a sufficient thickness.  This can cause osteoporosis later in life.

The amount of salt in potato chips is unsurprisingly very high

Conclusion

The amount of salt kids need is very different from the amount recommended as a percentage daily value.  Percentage daily values are based on a very high adult amount, which is double the safe maximum for children.  The guidelines, even those listed above for children, are based on maximum safe amounts, which are four to five times higher than the amount that is actually healthy.  Experts all agree that too much salt is harmful and dangerous to health – they all consistently recommend reducing salt intake as much as possible to obtain optimum health.  The best thing you can do for your kids is to reduce their salt intake as much as possible!

Salt: Dangerous for Kids’ Diets

Salt: Dangerous for in Kids’ Diets

Cooking Salt

Just like sugar, kids today are consuming far more salt than is healthy.  Salt is hidden in lots of foods, from bread to breakfast cereals – in fact, there is salt in almost any processed food you buy.  But salt can be dangerous for your kids’ health, so it is best to reduce their intake whenever possible.

Salt, or sodium chloride, is an essential mineral kids and adults alike need in our diets.  However, kids today tend to eat too much salt.  And too much salt is definitely too much of a good thing.  As with most nutrients that are essential for living, consuming too much salt is harmful to kids’ health.  Here are some of the biggest health risks to children who consume too much salt:

Blood Pressure

It has long been known that excess salt increases blood pressure in adults, but did you know that eating too much salt increases blood pressure in children, too?  A diet high in salt in childhood leads to higher blood pressure later, which in turn increases risk of stroke and heart attack by three times. Kids who use salt at the table have increased systolic blood pressure.[1]  Studies show that this higher blood pressure rises over the years in a steady incline if kids continue to consume too much sodium.[2]  Fortunately, children are incredibly resilient and can recover more quickly than adults.  By reducing salt intake down to recommended amounts during childhood, you reduce your child’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease in adulthood.  In fact, studies show that reducing salt intake is more effective in reducing blood pressure than all the medications currently available![3]

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis may sound like a disease of the elderly, but it is now being detected in young adults.  The problem is that bone loss is difficult to detect in very young adults whose loss may not yet be measurable in the bones themselves.  However, calcium lost in the urine can be detected and kids who consume too much salt actually lose more calcium than their peers who eat the right amount.[4][5]  These losses continue into adulthood.

Teenaged girls are especially at risk.  This is because peak bone mass is reached at the time of puberty, but far too many girls at this age are not consuming enough calcium and potassium while at the same time consume extremely high levels of salt.[6]  If peak bone mass is lower, girls (who are already at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis) have less bone mass to lose later in life, which predisposes them to develop osteoporosis.

Obesity

Okay, so salt is not a direct cause of obesity, but it is a contributing factor.  Have you ever sat down to eat a salty food and then felt thirsty?  This is the reason why salted peanuts and salty pretzels are commonly served at bars – they want to make you thirsty so you buy more drinks.  (Interestingly, for those thirsty for random bits of knowledge, this fact contributed to the Jews winning their Temple back from the Greeks during the time of the Maccabees, which is celebrated during the festival of Chanukah.  A beautiful Jewish woman named Yehudit/Judith fed the Greek general lots of salty cheese, causing him to drink too much wine.  When he passed out she cut off his head and in doing so cut the head off the Greek war leadership.)  Hopefully our kids aren’t slaking their thirst with beer or wine, but unfortunately they are slaking their thirst with something almost as bad – soft drinks.

Sodas and other sugary soft drinks contribute significantly to the obesity epidemic among today’s youth.  After all, 31% of beverages drunk by children from the ages of 4 to 18 are soft drinks.[7] Drinking too many sugary soft drinks has been repeatedly shown in scientific research to be related to obesity.[8]

You might think the link between soft drink consumption and salt consumption would be tenuous, but that is not so. Sales of salt and sales of soft drinks rise together and sale of salt are correlated with obesity rates.[9] Cutting salt consumption in half, from the average 10 grams per day to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended 5 grams per day decreases daily beverage consumption by 350 mL daily, which is approximately one can of soda. Children are especially sensitive to the consumption of excess salt, which causes them to need more liquid. In fact, by reducing a child’s salt consumption by 1 gram per day, the average child drinks 100mL less liquid and 27mL less sugary soft drink.[10] Therefore, reducing your child’s salt intake, even by a small amount, could have a big impact on their overall health and weight.

Cancer

I hate to bring up the big ‘C’ – cancer – but if we want to have healthy kids we have to face reality. When kids eat too much salt it does increase their chance of developing cancer, particularly stomach cancer. That’s because eating too much salt damages the stomach lining, which in turn can lead to the development of cancerous cells.[11] Eating too much salt also encourages proliferation of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which is associated with the development of stomach cancer and ulcers.[12] Of course, this is unlikely to afflict your child at a young age, but it can happen, and you do not want to increase your child’s chance of developing this deadly disease later in life. Reducing calcium intake seems to me to be an easy way to reduce risk.

Asthma

Even when I was growing up, asthma was a common childhood ailment. Most children do not die of it, but it complicates their lives, makes it hard for them to participate in all activities they might want to, and is a frightening and unpleasant feeling.  Consuming too much salt can worsen or instigate asthma in kids. This is because high sodium consumption increases bronchial reactivity,[13] making children who consume high amounts of salt more prone to asthmatic attacks.[14] This is related to the excess amount of calcium that is lost when too much salt is consumed.[15]

Kidney Disease

Our kidneys today work hard to filter toxins and other nasty things from our bloodstream. Today, they have to work harder than ever, as our environment is filled with toxins that enter our bodies primarily via the air that we breathe and the food that we eat. Consuming too much salt puts our kidneys under extra unnecessary stress that can, over time, cause them damage. This is because eating too much salt causes the production of protein urea, which is a major kidney disease risk factor.[16]

Less Salt, Better Health

I hope these are enough reasons to convince you of the impact too much salt can have on your child’s health and wellbeing. Cutting down on salt might be challenging if you rely heavily on processed foods, but with many alternative products on the market, you can usually find some that are healthier. If we want our kids to lead healthier lives, we need to reduce the amount of salt in their diets. Let’s inspire healthy kids!

Australian Lake Salt

[1] Gregory J, L.S., Bates CJ, Prentice A, Jackson L, Smithers G, Wenlock R, Farron M., National Diet and Nutrition Survey: young people aged 4 to 18 years. Vol. 1: Report of the diet and nutrition survey. 2000, London: The Stationery Office. 271-336.

[2] Geleijnse, J.M., D.E. Grobbee, and A. Hofman, Sodium and potassium intake and blood pressure change in childhood. Bmj, 1990. 300(6729): p. 899-902.

[3] Rose, G., Strategy of prevention: lessons from cardiovascular disease. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed), 1981. 282(6279): p. 1847-51.

[4] Goulding A, Everitt HE, Cooney JM, Spears GFS. Sodium and osteoporosis. In: Wahlqvist ML, Truswell AS, eds. Recent advances in clinical nutrition. Vol 2. 1987:99-108.

[5] Cappuccio, F.P., et al., Unravelling the links between calcium excretion, salt intake, hypertension, kidney stones and bone metabolism. J Nephrol, 2000. 13(3): p. 169-77.

[6] Geleijnse, J.M., et al., Long-term effects of neonatal sodium restriction on blood pressure. Hypertension, 1997. 29(4): p. 913-7.

[7] He FJ et al. Salt Intake Is Related to Soft Drink Consumption in Children and Adolescents: A Link to Obesity?  Hypertension. 2008; 51, 629-634.

[8] Ludwig DS et al. Relation Between Consumption of Sugar-sweetened Drinks and Childhood Obesity: a prospective, observational analysis. Lancet. 2001; 357, 505-508.  James J et al.  Preventing Childhood Obesity by Reducing Consumption of Carbonated Drinks: Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial. British Medical Journal. 2004; 328,1237.

[9] Karppanen H, Mervaala E: Sodium Intake and Hypertension. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2006; 49, 59-75

[10] He FJ et al. Salt Intake Is Related to Soft Drink Consumption in Children and Adolescents: A Link to Obesity?  Hypertension. 2008; 51, 629-634.

[11] Tsugane, S., et al., Salt and salted food intake and subsequent risk of gastric cancer among middle-aged Japanese men and women. Br J Cancer, 2004. 90(1): p. 128-34.

[12] Karppanen, H. and E. Mervaala, Sodium intake and hypertension. Prog Cardiovasc Dis, 2006. 49 (2): p. 59-75.

[13] Goulding A, Gold E. Effect of dietary sodium chloride loading on parathyroid function, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, calcium balance and bone metabolism in female rats during chronic prednisolone administration. Endocrinology 1986; 119:2148-54.

[14] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1833904/pdf/bmj00299-0028.pdf

[15] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1834783/pdf/bmj00308-0056b.pdf

[16] He, F.J., et al., Effect of salt intake on renal excretion of water in humans. Hypertension, 2001. 38(3): p. 317-20