HealthDay News — The mean sodium consumption of U.S. adolescents is more than twice the American Heart Association’s recommended daily intake, according to researchers.

In a cross-sectional study involving 766 healthy teenagers aged 14 to 18 years, 97% exceeded the 1,500 mg per day dietary salt intake guidelines recommended by the AHA — with daily intake averaging 3,280 mg/per day, Haidong Zhu, MD, PhD, from the Georgia Regents University in Augusta, and colleagues reported in Pediatrics.

They set out to examine the correlation between sodium intake and adiposity and inflammation. In multiple linear regressions, the researchers found independent associations between dietary sodium intake and body weight, BMI, waist circumference, percent body fat, fat mass, subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue, leptin and tumor necrosis factor-α (all P < 0.05).

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Dietary sodium intake was not associated with visceral adipose tissue, skinfold thickness, adiponectin, C-reactive protein, or intercellular adhesion molecule-1. After correction for multiple testing, all significant associations persisted.

“Despite efforts to reduce sodium intake in the United States and around the world, consumption levels remain high,” the researchers wrote. “Our adolescent data show that the average amount of sodium consumed by our adolescents is as high as that of adults and more than twice the American Heart Association’s daily recommended value.”


  1. Zhu H et al. Pediatrics. 2014; doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1794.