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Parents’ pages: The salty-snack-and-soft-drink connection

If your child eats lots of salty snacks, chances are he or she likes to wash them down with lots of sugary drinks, say British researchers who reviewed data on more than 1,600 boys and girls, ages 4 to 18. Kids eating less salt drank less fluid, particularly fewer sugar-sweetened soft drinks. Bottom line: Reducing salty snacks and overall salt in your child’s diet may then reduce his or her intake of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and limit the risk of childhood obesity. Since about 80 percent of our diet’s sodium intake is from salt added during food processing, authors of this study, published in the journal Hypertension, urge parents to read labels, choose low-salt foods and snacks and skip the salt during cooking and at the table.