Knowledge and Resource Hub
10 July 2018

Too much salt leading to risk of overweight and obese children

This article describes the findings of a study of salt intake in 666 Australian primary school children aged 4-12 years. To obtain an accurate measure of salt intake the researchers analysed salt excretion in the children's urine. Seventy percent of children were eating more than the maximum amount of salt recommended for good health. Furthermore, children who had higher salt intake were at greater risk of being overweight or obese. For each additional gram of salt the children ate above the recommended level there was a 23% greater likelihood of being overweight or obese.  In both the 4-7 year-olds and the 8-12 year olds, abdominal obesity was higher in children with a higher salt intake. The authors maintained that these high salt intakes increased lifetime risk of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and heart disease.