Kids with high-sodium diet is at great risk of developing high blood pressure
The common mindset to have among the older generation is to ‘eat whatever you want when you are young, and then stop when you are 40, for health’s sake’. Growing up, I watched my parents cut down on inner parts of animals (intestines, brain and liver among others) to avoid high blood pressure threats. In the same spirit, the aunties will cook with less salt and completely ban MSG from their homes.
Is such mentality good enough to protect our wellbeing? Apparently not. A recent study in the US shows that kids who consume a lot of sodium (salt, MSG an such) develop high blood pressure very early in the age. The notion is especially true for overweight and obese kids.
In the study, 6,235 children aged 8 to 18 years were observed by the National Health and Nutrition Examination in the span of 5 years. In average, they consume an amount of 3,387 mg of sodium daily – more than the recommended amount of no more than 2,300 mg per day.
After regular blood pressure measurement throughout the study period, it is shown that those who consume more sodium on a daily basis are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure, thus are more prone to heart diseases. In addition to that, those who are overweight or obese and consume excessive amount of salt are three times as likely to develop high blood pressure!
The study results are very alarming, and it is high time us parents take action to cut down on sodium both for ourselves and for the kids. Asian food as we know it, is loaded with taste – a result of the herbs and spices used to create a dish. Whilst natural herbs and spices are naturally harmless, Asian food has gotten our tongues to be used to sharp taste. Hence, if we are presented with blander dishes, we automatically reach for the saltshaker. It also is one of the reasons why we are glued to our potato chips and popcorn.
Our bodies do need sodium to maintain water and mineral balances and blood volume in the body. This study is not presented to urge you to go on a salt-free diet, but rather to consume sodium wisely. The recommended amount of sodium intake or kids one to three is 1000 mg / day, for age four to eight it’s 1200 mg / day, and older than that it’s the same as adults, 1500 mg / day (source: Dr. Claire McCarthy of MD Mama).
We should not go on a diet, but we need to develop a healthy lifestyle for us and the kids to avoid any nasty medical condition. For tips & tricks to cut down on salt intake – refer to our report here.