NBC Nightly News (3/21, story 6, 0:35, Williams, 7.86M) reported, “The same Harvard researchers who told us just yesterday about the high number of deaths linked to drinking too many sugary drinks said today one in ten deaths in this country can now be linked to overconsumption of salt.”
The ABC News (3/21, Moisse) “Medical Unit” blog reports that investigators “used data from 247 surveys on sodium intake and 107 clinical trials that measured how salt affects blood pressure, and how blood pressure contributes to cardiovascular disease like heart attacks and stroke.”
Bloomberg News (3/22, Armour) reports that the researchers found that “eating too much salt contributed to 2.3 million heart-related deaths worldwide in 2010, and 40 percent of those deaths were premature.” Almost “1 million of the deaths, or 40 percent of the total, happened in people who were 69 years old or younger, according to the study.” Bloomberg News pointed out that “The U.S. ranked 19th of the 30 largest countries studied for deaths due to excess salt.” The research was presented at an American Heart Association meeting.
The Huffington Post (3/21) reports that a separate study, also “presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association, shows that 75 percent of people around the world consume significantly more salt every day than is recommended.” Researchers looked at data from “187 countries, and 247 separate surveys on salt intake between 1990 and 2010 through the Global Burden of Diseases Study.” The investigators found that “people around the world ate nearly 4,000 milligrams of salt a day in 2010, which is nearly twice as much as is recommended by the World Health Organization (less than 2,000 milligrams of salt a day) and nearly three times as much as is recommended by the American Heart Association (less than 1,500 milligrams of salt a day).”
MedPage Today (3/22, Phend) reports, “Only six nations didn’t shake out with an average sodium intake exceeding the WHO limit of 2,000 mg a day; only Kenya had a national average that would meet the AHA threshold of 1,500 mg per day.” HealthDay (3/22, Preidt) and the Daily Mail (UK) (3/22, Nye) also cover the first study.
Study: Pre-packaged foods for toddlers have too much sodium. The CNN (3/21) “The Chart” blog reports, “Most packaged meals and snacks marketed to toddlers have more than the recommended amount of sodium per serving, meaning children as young as one are most likely eating far too much salt early in life, according to” research presented at an American Heart Association meeting. These “findings were alarming to researchers since there is evidence a child’s sodium intake is related to the likelihood that he or she will develop hypertension as an adult.” A research team led by Joyce Maalouf, a fellow at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looked at “more than 1,100 products specifically marketed to babies and toddlers that were sold in grocery stores.” The researchers considered a product to be high in sodium if a serving contained more than 210 milligrams of sodium.
CBS News (3/22, Jaslow) reports on its website that the researchers found that “75 percent of” the “pre-packaged meals and savory snacks for toddlers were high in sodium.” The researchers also “found toddler meals on average had significantly more sodium than baby meals, with some as high as 630 milligrams per serving.” According to Maalouf, “Our concern is the possible long-term health risks of introducing high levels of sodium in a child’s diet, because high blood pressure, as well as a preference for salty foods may develop early in life.” Maalouf added, “The less sodium in an infant’s or toddler’s diet, the less he or she may want it when older.”
The Huffington Post (3/21, Pearson) reports, “Maalouf stressed that even within specific categories or brands of toddler meals, sodium content can range. ‘Therefore, it is important for parent and caregivers to read nutrition facts and labels and choose products with the lowest amount of sodium,’ she said.”
HealthDay (3/22, Doheny) reports, “The message for parents, Maalouf said, is to read nutrition labels and choose lower-sodium items.”