Excessive Salt Consumption Among American Teens

This article originally appeared here.
Mean sodium consumption more than twice the AHA recommended daily intake.
Mean sodium consumption more than twice the AHA recommended daily intake.

The mean sodium consumption of U.S. adolescents is more than twice the American Heart Association's recommended daily intake, according to a study published in Pediatrics.

Haidong Zhu, M.D., Ph.D., from the Georgia Regents University in Augusta, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study involving 766 healthy white and African-American 14- to 18-year-olds to examine the correlation between sodium intake and adiposity and inflammation.

The researchers found that the average sodium intake was 3,280 mg/day, and that 97 percent of the teenagers exceeded the American Heart Association's recommended daily sodium intake. There were independent associations for dietary sodium intake with body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, percent body fat, fat mass, subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue, leptin, and tumor necrosis factor-α (all P < 0.05). Dietary sodium intake was not associated with visceral adipose tissue, skinfold thickness, adiponectin, C-reactive protein, or intercellular adhesion molecule-1. After correction for multiple testing, all significant associations persisted.

"Despite efforts to reduce sodium intake in the United States and around the world, consumption levels remain high," the authors write. "Our adolescent data show that the average amount of sodium consumed by our adolescents is as high as that of adults and more than twice the American Heart Association's daily recommended value."

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