Too much Salt in your Teens = High Blood Pressure as an Adult

According to the latest research, reducing the salt in teenagers’ diets by as little as one-half teaspoon, or three grams, per day, could reduce the number of young adults with high blood pressure by 44 to 63 percent.

Currently, the average U.S. adolescent consumes 9 grams of salt per day – most of it via processed foods.

The American Heart Association recommends a maximum salt consumption of 1.5 grams per day.

In this study, the researchers employed a great big dose of common sense to recognize that it is highly unlikely that kids are going to drop their salt consumption down to 1.5 grams per day. In response, they conducted a study where they made a more reasonable reduction in salt consumption

By lowering dietary salt by three grams per day, the researchers projected the following benefits for healthcare in the United States:

  • 44-63 percent, or 380,000-550,000, fewer hypertensive young people aged 12-24 years
  • 30-43 percent, or 2,700,000–3,900,000, fewer hypertensive adults aged 35-50 years
  • 7-12 percent, or 120,000-210,000, fewer incidents of coronary heart disease
  • 8-14 percent, or 36,000-64,000, fewer heart attacks
  • 5-8 percent, or 16,000-28,000, fewer strokes

And that brings us to the big question.

How do encourage the processed food industry to voluntarily lower the salt content in their products?



UCSF news release

  • 5-9 percent, or 69,000-120,000, fewer deaths of any cause as teenagers reach age 50
  • Douglas Robb

    Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

    3 thoughts on “Too much Salt in your Teens = High Blood Pressure as an Adult

    • November 30, 2010 at 12:56 am

      I heard that a diet high in sodium and low in potassium can cause high blood pressure, so cutting down on salt and eating foods high in potassium could help control or even reverse this disease.

    • November 17, 2010 at 7:19 pm

      That’s right Jarret. We are more aware of salt reduction and there was a big push to reduce our salt reduction and I still keep to that too. So does my elderly Mother. Maybe we need to write more about it as Doug has here.

      Patricia Perth Australia

    • November 17, 2010 at 6:13 pm

      Doug, that’s pretty fascinating data about salt reduction. The importance of dietary salt reduction is getting lost with the other health messages in the media lately. In the generation before mine, people seemed to be more aware of the dangerous of a high salt diet not that many necessarily did much about it.


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