Salt causing health problems in children

By Marshanna Hester

September 18, 2012 Updated Sep 19, 2012 at 9:17 AM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill -- It is a problem typically found in middle aged adults; however, medical experts say instances of high blood pressure in American kids and teens is sky rocketing.

The reason? Too much salt.

A study released this week by the Centers for Disease Control shows that while the recommended sodium intake for kids stands at 2,300 milligrams a day, the average child consumes more than 3,300.

As a result, blood pressure among kids in the US rose to as much as five times the average. Local dietitians say when monitoring salt intake, too many parents mistakenly look to the spice-rack.

"The sodium in children's diet comes from the food that they are actually eating and not the salt that they add to the food." said Golda Ewalt, registered dietitian at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. "Things like ketchup, salsa, potato chips, hot dogs, lunch meat. Those are very high in sodium."

Experts say the best way to teach your kids healthy eating habits is to include them when preparing meals. Use raw, unprocessed foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoid dining out.

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