Many foods eaten by UK children still contain large amounts of salt, in some cases more than half the daily maximum limit for a 6 year old in a single serving, revealed by researchers. Research carried out with Netmums, a leading parenting website, also shows that many parents are confused about which foods contain salt.
New research published by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH).
To mark Salt Awareness Week 2008, CASH calls on parents to check labels carefully and stop buying very salty foods for their children. The charity also asks the manufacturers, yet again, to lower the amount of salt they put into children’s foods, and provide clear salt labelling to help parents make informed choices.
According to the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, four to six year-olds should eat no more than 3g of salt a day, half the adult limit. One to three year-olds should have no more than 2g a day. And yet the CASH research found the following savoury foods, eaten regularly by children, still on sale in January 2008 with over 1g of salt per serving, which is a third of a six year-old’s daily maximum limit and half the daily salt limit for a three year-old.
The researchers have found that foods regularly eaten by children, such as some pizzas and burgers, contain over one gm of salt per serving — almost a third of the recommended daily limit for four to six-year-olds. The study has also revealed that many sweet foods have high salt content, but few parents are aware of this.
“Keeping children’s salt consumption below the recommended maximum limits is vital. Research shows that children who eat higher salt diets have higher blood pressure than children who eat less salt. It’s also well established that blood pressure tracks into adulthood, with the risk of developing heart disease as well as stroke. Too much salt is also linked with stomach cancer, osteoporosis and can aggravate the symptoms of asthma,” the British media quoted Chairman of the Consensus Action on Salt and Health Graham MacGregor as saying.
Source: Consensus Action on Salt and Health, UK