Salty snacks drive thirst for soda

February 22, 2008 7:30:48 PM PST
Kids who load up on salty meals get thirsty, and too ofte turn to calorie-packed sodas

A new study, published in the American Heart Association journal suggests that cutting back on salt may be a good way to cut calories.

Salt is a hidden factor in the obesity epidemic, according to Graham MacGregor, a co-author of the study at St. George's University in London. Researchers say most of that salt isn't coming from the kitchen shaker. About 80 per cent of our sodium consumption is from processed food.

Recent studies show that about 10 to 15 per cent of sodium comes from salt applied at the table.

Fast foods, especially, are loaded with sodium.

The study, with 1600 British boys and girls, suggested that cutting sodium consumption in half would lead to an average reduction of about 18 ounces of sugar-sweetened soft drinks per week. That would translate into 250 or more fewer calories per week.

The lead researcher of the study says reducing salt in manufactured food can be done gradually. Dr. Fen he says a 10 to 20 percent reduction in salt isn't even detectable.