Sodium intake in children and adolescents is high, comparable to that in adults. Higher sodium intake in children and adolescents is associated with higher blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke among adults.
Eating less sodium can lower blood pressure somewhat in children and adolescents. Lowering blood pressure during childhood can help lower the risk for high blood pressure as an adult. A 2012 study of U.S. children and adolescents found that higher sodium consumption was associated with increased blood pressure. This e ect was even greater in overweight and obese participants compared to normal weight participants.
Importantly, studies suggest infants’ and children’s preference for sodium is shaped by dietary exposure, so the less sodium children consume, the less they want.
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