Salt Intake Is Related to Soft Drink Consumption in Children and Adolescents A Link to Obesity?

Blood Pressure Unit, Cardiac and Vascular Sciences, St George's, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London, SW17 0RE, United Kingdom.
Hypertension (Impact Factor: 6.48). 04/2008; 51(3):629-34. DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.107.100990
Source: PubMed


Dietary salt is a major determinant of fluid intake in adults; however, little is known about this relationship in children. Sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption is related to childhood obesity, but it is unclear whether there is a link between salt and sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption. We analyzed the data of a cross-sectional study, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey for young people in Great Britain. Salt intake and fluid intake were assessed in 1688 participants aged 4 to 18 years, using a 7-day dietary record. There was a significant association between salt intake and total fluid, as well as sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption (P<0.001), after adjusting for potential confounding factors. A difference of 1 g/d in salt intake was associated with a difference of 100 and 27 g/d in total fluid and sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption, respectively. These results, in conjunction with other evidence, particularly that from experimental studies where only salt intake was changed, demonstrate that salt is a major determinant of fluid and sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption during childhood. If salt intake in children in the United Kingdom was reduced by half (mean decrease: 3 g/d), there would be an average reduction of approximately 2.3 sugar-sweetened soft drinks per week per child. A reduction in salt intake could, therefore, play a role in helping to reduce childhood obesity through its effect on sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption. This would have a beneficial effect on preventing cardiovascular disease independent of and additive to the effect of salt reduction on blood pressure.

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    • "Indirect evidence has been reported for the association between increased food consumption and urinary sodium excretion.24) An alternate explanation is that increased consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks are accompanied by ingestion of foods with high sodium content.25)26) "
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    ABSTRACT: Metabolic syndrome and high sodium intake are associated with frequent cardiovascular events. Few studies have estimated sodium intake in subjects with metabolic syndrome by 24-hour urine sodium excretion. We evaluated sodium intake in individuals with metabolic syndrome. Participants were recruited by random selection and through advertisement. Twenty four-hour urine collection, ambulatory blood pressure measurements, and blood test were performed. Sodium intake was estimated by 24-hour urine sodium excretion. Participants receiving antihypertensive medications were excluded from analysis. Among the 463 participants recruited, subjects with metabolic syndrome had higher levels of 24-hour urine sodium excretion than subjects without metabolic syndrome (p=0.0001). There was a significant relationship between the number of metabolic syndrome factors and 24-hour urine sodium excretion (p=0.001). The proportion of subjects with metabolic syndrome was increased across the tertile groups of 24-hour urine sodium excretion (p<0.0001). The association of high sodium intake and metabolic syndrome was significant only among women. Among the factors related to metabolic syndrome, body mass index had an independent association with 24-hour urine sodium excretion (p<0.0001). Women with metabolic syndrome exhibited significantly higher sodium intake, suggesting that dietary education to reduce sodium consumption should be emphasized for women with metabolic syndrome.
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    • "An explanation for this could be that a high intake of salt stimulates appetite and thirst consequently increasing the total energy intake [3]. This explanation was supported by He et al. who found that a difference of 1 g/d in salt intake was associated with a difference of 27 g/d in sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption among children and adolescents [7]. Hence, it seems reasonable to assume that a potential effect of dietary salt on development of obesity may be the consequence of a poor or a high energy diet. "
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    • "In addition, dietary sodium intake might be related with sweet taste, as shown in the present study in the total and women-only groups. It was reported that salt intake was related to sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption [38], which may increase the preference for sweet taste by prolonged exposure [39]. These results also show that there may be gender differences in the intake of nutrients or food according to taste preferences. "
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