Toddlers are overweight at 3 years old and showing signs of heart problems
article on Medicine.Net.com
It is important to protect small children from the bad effects of a salty diet because salt does much more harm to children than to adults and also because if they develop a taste for salty food early in life it will be harder for them to lower their salt intake as they get older.
Childhood obesity associated with heart disease results from a diet too high in salt.
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.
Unfortunately bread contains a lot of salt and most families eat quite a lot of bread because of using it for sandwiches in packed lunches, and for toast, etc. Because of its high salt content bread is not a healthy food for little children or for anyone who is overweight. Some bread manufacturers have lowered the salt content of certain loaves, but most bread still usually contains 0.5g or more of sodium per 100g. This is too much. - Always check on the packet; look for the lowest sodium content.
Cheese is often recommended as being good for children because it contains calcium, but cheese is not really good for children because it has a high salt content. So don't give them a lot of it. Children can get plenty of calcium by drinking milk and by eating yogurt (but avoid the sort of yogurt that has lots of chemical additives).
There are no calories in salt - but if you cut down on salt you will easily lose weight. If you cut down on calories you will not lose weight.
See Children and Obesity
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