Kids are eating too much salt, CDC says

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

SHERMAN, TEXAS -- For 16 years, David Murray has been working in the food industry.

"Foods have gotten less nutritious. Personally, I've got two small children and I'm concerned about their well-being," David said.

David's also concerned about the food that ends up on your family's kitchen table.

"Often parents are kind of caught in the dilemma of the busy schedule, so they go to convenience foods, so they're pre-packaged, pre-canned, pre-made food," David said.

David says that most processed foods are packed with salt.

"Like mass produced foods, in order to maintain the flavor of the food, they typically use a lot of salt and sugar," David said.

The CDC tracked what thousands of kids are eating over a five year span.

The results show that kids are eating an unhealthy amount of salt, and that extra salt is linked to higher blood pressure.

Courtni Billows says she recognized the danger of salty foods when her 11 year-old daughter had the cholesterol of an 80 year-old.

"It really opened my eyes to ingredients. The more there are, the worse it is," Courtni said.

So how do you steer clear of salty foods? A helpful tip while grocery shopping is to check the potassium/sodium ratio on the back of the bag.

David says potassium helps absorb salt, so when you see sodium on the label, make sure there's also potassium.

And don't be deceived by seemingly healthy foods, like bread, juice and granola bars. Those foods can also pack plenty of salt.

"Ultimately, fresh is better. You know, a food in its raw natural state, you're lowering the sodium content naturally," David said.

The suggested amount of sodium for a kid ages 8-18 is about 2,300 milligrams.


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