A key way to reduce childhood obesity could involve limiting children’s salt intake, according to a study published in the January 2013 issue of Pediatrics.
The study, “Dietary Salt Intake, Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption, and Obesity Risk,” released online Dec. 10, 2012, tracked the consumption of dietary salt, fluid, and sugar-sweetened beverages of more than 4,200 children ages 2 to 16 in Australia.
Sixty-two percent of children reported consuming sugar-sweetened beverages. In this group, children who consumed more salt consumed more fluid, and in particular more sugar-sweetened beverages; for every 1 gram/day of salt, children consumed 17 grams/day more of sugar-sweetened beverages. Participants who consumed more than one serving per day of sugar-sweetened beverages were 26 percent more likely to be overweight or obese.
The study adds to emerging evidence that a reduction in dietary salt intake may reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, which in turn may lower childhood obesity risk.