Infant salt intake needs to be substantially reduced, say nutritionists who found that 70 percent of eight-month-old babies have an intake higher than recommended maximum levels. The findings, from the UK, point the finger at babies being fed salty and processed foods like yeast extract, gravy, baked beans and tinned spaghetti.
The new salt intake study, appearing in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also notes that many infants are given cows' milk, which has higher levels of salt than breast or formula milk.
The researchers behind the study say that high levels of salt can damage developing kidneys, give children a taste for salty foods and establish poor eating practices that continue into adulthood and can result in health problems later in life.
The study suggests that the majority of salt consumed by individuals is added to food during manufacturing, with a relatively small proportion added during cooking or at the table. "Given that three-quarters of salt in the diet comes from processed adult foods, successful salt-reduction strategies can only be achieved with the co-operation of the food industry," the researchers conclude.
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Source: University of Bristol