The findings indicate that the food industry and those who regulate it could substantially improve the nation’s health through even small reductions in the amount of salt in processed foods, which account for the majority of salt consumed in this country.
“The U.S. diet is already high in salt, and adolescents consume more salt — more than 9 grams (3,800 milligrams of sodium) — than any other age group,” said presenter Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, UCSF associate professor of medicine and epidemiology. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day for most Americans.
The research team from UCSF and Columbia University Medical Center examined the potential impact of population-wide reductions in dietary salt on cardiovascular risk in American adolescents. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2008 to determine the distribution of systolic blood pressure among adolescents and adults, the team performed an analysis using the Coronary Heart Disease Policy Model. The model, a computer simulation of heart disease among U.S. adults, has helped researchers project potential benefits of public health interventions.
“It’s clear that we need to lower salt intake, but individuals find it hard to make substantial cuts because most salt comes from processed foods, not from the salt shaker,” said Bibbins-Domingo, who co-directs the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital. “Reducing the amount of salt that is already added to the food that we eat could mean that teenagers live many more years free of hypertension.”
Although many food companies already have committed to lower salt content in their foods, Bibbins-Domingo said continued efforts could affect health far into the adult lives of American teenagers.
“Fast food and snack foods are major contributors to salt intake among teens, and reducing intake of these food items can have an important health benefit for teens during their teenage years and as they become young and middle age adults,” she said. By lowering dietary salt by three grams per day, the researchers projected the following benefits for healthcare in the United States:
Salt consumption among Americans has risen by 50 percent since the 1970s, according to the American Heart Association, and blood pressure has risen by nearly the same amount—despite extensive evidence linking salt intake to high blood pressure and heart disease.
In addition to its independent benefits on blood pressure, reducing salt intake can enhance the effects of most anti-hypertensive (blood pressure lowering) agents and reduce complications associated with diabetes, obesity and kidney disease, the researchers added.
According to federal government data, the average teenage boy consumes more than 10 grams of salt (4,000 mg sodium) daily. Most health organizations recommend far lower targets—no more than 5.8 grams of salt per day (2,300 mg sodium) and less than 3.8 grams (1,500 mg sodium) is optimal. Each gram of salt contains 0.4 grams of sodium.
Additional UCSF authors include Pamela Coxson, PhD; Tekeshe Mekonnen, MS; and David Guzman, MSPH. Lee Goldman, MD, MPH, contributed from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York.
The study was funded by the American Heart Association.
UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care and patient safety. For further information, visit www.ucsf.edu.
More information about the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations is available at www.cvp-sf.com.
Follow UCSF on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ucsf
Lauren Hammit | EurekAlert!
New way to target advanced breast cancers
24.09.2018 | Jackson Laboratory
Neutrons produce first direct 3D maps of water during cell membrane fusion
21.09.2018 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.
This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
21.09.2018 | Event News
03.09.2018 | Event News
27.08.2018 | Event News
24.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
24.09.2018 | Earth Sciences
24.09.2018 | Health and Medicine