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Sunday, 10 October 2010

Too much salt in children's meals in UK hospitals

Children need to be protected from eating food high in salt because it can do life-long harm to their health, especially if they develop a taste for it, which so many of them do. Yet research by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) has found that children are in particular danger from very salty meals they are served in hospital, where they should, surely, be safer. - See the BBC News report.

When children become fat it is essentially because they are eating salty food. Children are especially vulnerable to salt because of their small size and small blood volume, and because their blood vessels are weaker than those of adults. Salt, and the water it attracts to it, can more easily distend weak blood vessels than fully mature ones. The resulting increase in blood volume and other fluid retention results in weight gain, as well as higher blood pressure and many other undesirable consequences. The smaller the child, the less salt they should have - and a baby, of course, should have no salt at all. - Babies can die if they are fed salty food. See Children and Obesity and Salt in Food.

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