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The usual teen’s diet is contains much more salt than health officials advise, but, according to a new research, efforts which target the reducing sodium intake in teenagers may have very little or no impact whatsoever on blood pressure through adolescence.
When scientists observed girls’ eating patterns for almost ten years starting at age 9 or 10, they found that blood pressure levels seemed to be influenced at a higher degree by eating too little potassium rather than too much sodium.
A greater sodium intake (3,000 mg/day or greater compared to less than 2,500 mg/day) did not seem to have a negative impact on blood pressure in the study, and some research models even discovered girls who consumed more sodium to have lower diastolic blood pressures than those whose sodium intake was in the recommended levels, according to Lynn L. Moore, DSc, of Boston University School of Medicine, and her team. Their findings were published online in JAMA Pediatrics.
Higher potassium consumption was associated with blood pressure variations throughout the teen years. Girls who had a greater potassium consumption showed lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure in late adolescence.
“Blood pressure rises with age, and we wanted to find out if sodium intake influenced blood pressure through adolescence. We found no evidence of an impact, but higher potassium intake did predict lower blood pressure,” Moore said to MedPage Today.
In an effort to curb the increasing high blood pressure incidence among children and the epidemic of hypertension among adults, the American Heart Association is advising a slow reduction in sodium intake. The experts had set the goal of lowering sodium consumption to 1,500 mg per day by 2020.
AHA spokeswoman Linda Van Horn, PhD, who is also a professor of preventive medicine at Chicago’s Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, explained the newly published findings do not mean this recommendation will be changed
“The research has revealed over and over again that there is really nothing healthy about a high sodium diet and that most of the population is now consuming far more sodium than is needed,” she mentioned.
She said that processed foods are a major source of sodium in the American diet, adding that it is very important to promote the eating of whole foods for children and teens in order to establish healthy eating patterns.
Image Source: Food Navigator