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Study finds many fast food kids’ meals contain dangerous amounts of salt

Study finds many fast food kids’ meals contain dangerous amounts of salt

According to a recent study from British charity Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), if you take your child out for a kids' meal at a chain restaurant, they will probably be consuming their entire day's allotment of salt at once, if not more. A spot check of 218 children's meals at 23 chain restaurants throughout the UK found that 28 percent of them contained more than a full day's allowance of salt for children under four years old, and 7 percent exceeded even the larger recommended daily allowance for children under seven. 

This is cause for concern because children who are exposed to large amounts of salt during childhood are more likely to become "addicted" to it, leading to problems throughout their lifetimes. 

Professor Graham MacGregor of Queen Mary University London, chairman of Cash, said in a statement, "Evidence suggests dietary habits in childhood can influence eating patterns later in life. Salt should therefore not be given to children as this could lead to a "salt addiction" – a preference for salt throughout their lifetime. This will consequently raise their blood pressure which tracks into adulthood, leading to increased risk of developing strokes and heart attacks."

In response to the study, many chain restaurants replied saying only that they had already reduced the salt content in their children's meals.

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