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Limiting Salt Content In Healthy Foods For Children Reduces Palatability

December 7, 2010: 09:21 AM EST

French researchers who tested the food choices of young children when salt, sugar and fat levels were varied found that lowering sugar or fat content did not affect selection, but lowering salt content did. The study involved 74 30-month-old day care children who were fed lunches such as green beans and pasta with varying salt and fat (butter) levels and snacks of fruit purée with different levels of sugar. Children could eat as much of the foods as they wanted. Children ate more of the green beans when the salt content was higher, but sugar or fat levels made no difference. The findings suggest that young children will eat foods with lower sugar and fat levels, which could help prevent obesity. But limiting salt, while advisable, “should be considered cautiously.”

S. Bouhlal, et al., "The impact of salt, fat and sugar levels on toddler food intake", British Journal of Nutrition , December 07, 2010, © The authors
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