Salt and sugar put kids' health at risk

As any parent will know, making sure kids follow a healthy diet can sometimes be a chore.

Give them the choice between veggies or a sweet snack and the chances are they'll go with the unhealthy option - but what are the risks associated with giving into their demands?

There is often much publicity about the health problems associated with eating too much sugar, but a team of researchers from Deakin University believe salt could be just as much to blame.

Lead researcher Carley Grimes said: "The consumption of high sugar drinks is known to contribute to excess weight gain in children and adolescents."

However, she pointed out that a study carried out at the university found that kids who eat a high-salt diet are also likely to have sugary drinks, therefore putting them at risk of becoming overweight or obese.

"Reducing salt in children's diets may help to reduce the amount of sugary drinks they consume and therefore help with efforts to reduce the high rates of overweight and obesity," she explained.

Figures showed that 62 per cent of kids had drunk sugar-sweetened drinks - those who had more than one sugary drink each day were 34 per cent more likely to face weight problems.

Not only this, but for every gram of salt eaten per day, the youngsters drank 46 grams more fluid.

There are all sorts of health issues associated with eating too much salt, including high blood pressure, which in turn can increase the likelihood of suffering from stroke or heart disease.

Previous research from the university had found that children are eating around six grams of salt each day - which is around four times more than the recommended daily allowance.

So the next time your kids demand a high-salt or sugar snack, think about what it could mean for the state of their long-term health!

Explore how you can enjoy sweet treats and maintain a healthy weight by using Naturally Sweet Stevia orĀ  Naturally Sweet Xylitol.

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