High salt intake has been blamed as one of the root causes for obesity in adults. And now research shows that it even applies to children. Research published in the journal Pediatrics shows that the more salt children consume; the more they slurped on sugar-sweetened drinks. And those who drank more than a serving a day were 26% more likely to be overweight or obese, suggesting that salt may be part of the chain of events contributing to the childhood-obesity epidemic.
Apart from this study, one of the research studies also showed that adults or children who ate more salt, felt thirstier and consumed more fluid. This has been quoted by Carley Grimes, the study’s lead author, a dietitian and doctoral student at Deakin University in Australia. The amount of salt in your blood rises and to control it, your body gets thirsty. But the problem with adolescents is that, when they feel thirsty, they try to reach out for soda and sugar based drinks instead of water, which ultimately leads to unhealthy weight gain.
Salt-rich diets could be the key to why some children battle with obesity, according to a research at the University of London. In a study of data on 1,600 children, they found that children eating a salty diet tend to drink more, including more sugary sodas and drinks.
The researchers calculated that for every gram of salt those children consumed, they also drank 17 g of sugary drinks. The kids who did not commonly drink sugar-sweetened beverages wound up eating more than half a gram of salt less than the group of kids who drank sugary drinks. “That’s significant,” says Grimes. “It’s a bag of chips a day”
It is very important to educate adolescents about salt intake. Here are some tips which can be inculcated in your lifestyle, to help reduce salt intake.
- Try to consume home cooked food most of the time.
- Stick to fruits, salads and vegetables.
- Consume calcium rich foods like milk and other dairy products.
Other than obesity, a high salt diet can trigger other health problems like high blood pressure and cardiovascular ailments. Controlling salt intake might be difficult in India, since salt consumption is high across all regions and foods. Try to refrain from adding extra salt to home food, or when eating out.