Salt and your Teenager

Put on the television and chances are you will run into an advertisement urging you to consume stuff. Companies spend large amounts of marketing dollars on getting you to consume salty stuff. Some claim that you cant eat just one. Others don’t even bother; they know you cant stop. It is likely that your teenager is watching. Their lifestyle lends itself to indulging in consuming salty foods. Late nights studying or socializing with friends, a stressful period growing up, adjusting to the many changes occurring around them lends itself to a heady cocktail of pressure. Often, this translates into binge eating or indisciplined eating.

Consuming salty foods is a habit often acquired at this age. Just for the record, you need 1200-1500 mg of salt per day depending on your age and body profile. Usually, a single packet of salty foods can contain that much salt or more. A diet in high salt among teenagers has been linked to a stiffening of the arteries among adults. It was something you picked up as a teen. A stiffening of the arteries predisposes you to a significant increase in the risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks or strokes. The study conducted among ~ 775 people showed a slowing down in the rate of blood flow in their arteries.

Your teenage years find you in a fragile state of mind. You aren’t adult enough to have your own opinion and not young enough to be mothered all the time. Most teenagers are therefore exercising choices that put them in one of the highest risk categories. If you are a parent or a close friend, do spend a moment talking to them. There is a lot they need to worry about later on in life. Let the consequences of excessive salt not be one of them.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.

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