Citing a report in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics on changes in salt taste perception resulting from frequent consumption of fast food, the John Tung Foundation yesterday called on parents to pay extra attention to their children’s eating habits.
Research conducted by South Korean academics published in the British journal found that frequent consumption of high-salt foods may result in a change of taste perception, the foundation said.
According to the research findings, excessive exposure to salty foods can affect how sensitive one is to the taste of salt, and a diminished perception of the taste of salt might easily lead to overconsumption of sodium.
According to the journal, the study investigated “the effects of frequent consumption of high-salt food on salt taste perception among schoolchildren” and found that those who frequently visit fast-food restaurants showed a significantly higher salt level preference than those who eat less fast food.
The study also points out that hamburgers contain between 870mg and 930mg of sodium per serving and pizza between 1000mg ad 1600mg.
The WHO recommends the daily intake of salt for adults does not exceed 2,000mg, while the level is even lower for children.
Children, like adults, are prone to cardiovascular disease as a result of long-term excessive intake of sodium, the foundation said.
In addition, the excretion of sodium tends to consume calcium, which is needed to help children grow and develop, the foundation added.
The foundation called on parents to pay close attention to children’s fast-food or high-salt food eating habits in order to avoid potential damage to children’s health.