Sodium intake recommendations for children

sodiumkidsWorld Health Organization recently published a report calling for even lower sodium consumption. In particular, WHO addressed the various health risk linked to high sodium intake in children: blood pressure, blood lipids, catecholamine levels and other potential adverse effects. The entire document is a 50+ page PDF that is probably  not really meant to be read by the general public. It cites supporting research and provides evidence for the suggested measures. Unfortunately, the actual recommendations are not as specific, as one would hope, but here they are:

  • WHO recommends a reduction in sodium intake to reduce blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and coronary heart disease in adults (strong recommendation1). WHO recommends a reduction to <2 g/day sodium (5 g/day salt) in adults (strong recommendation).
  • WHO recommends a reduction in sodium intake to control blood pressure in children (strong recommendation). The recommended maximum level of intake of 2 g/day sodium in adults should be adjusted downward based on the energy requirements of children relative to those of adults.

It appears as if WHO is actively pushing the low sodium agenda and that one of the purposes of this report is to generate new research initiatives that will lead to a more robust set of guidelines.

Photo by hoyasmeg