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Reducing Salt Content Of Processed Foods Would Lower Hypertension Incidence Dramatically

November 14, 2010: 10:11 AM EST

Eating salty processed and prepared foods like bread, cereal, canned and fast foods poses a serious cardiovascular threat to teenagers and their families, a U.S. study has found. Teenagers consume nine grams of salt (3,800 mg of sodium) a day, more than any other age group, researchers said. The American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 1,500 mg. But, researchers said, if teenagers would cut their salt intake by three grams a day, the number of hypertensive teenagers and young adults could drop by 63 percent. The number of hypertensive adults aged 35 to 50 could decline by 43 percent. Noting that most of the sodium people consume comes  “not from our salt shaker” but from processed foods, the researchers urged continued manufacturer efforts to reduce salt content in foods.

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Ph.D., M.D., et al., "Less salt in teenagers’ diet may improve heart health in adulthood", Presentation, American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions , November 14, 2010, © American Heart Association
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