e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Reducing sodium intake to control blood pressure in children

An estimated 17.3 million people died from cardiovascular disease in 2008, representing 30% of all deaths worldwide. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major risk for cardiovascular disease. Children with elevated blood pressure are at high risk of cardiovascular disease pathology during childhood, and are also at high risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease as adults.

Evidence shows that reducing sodium intake significantly reduces blood pressure in adults and children. Sodium is found not only in table salt, but also naturally in a variety of foods, including milk, cream, eggs, meat and shellfish. It is also found in much high amounts in processed foods, such as breads, crackers, processed meats like bacon and snack foods such as pretzels, cheese puffs and popcorn, as well as in condiments such as soy sauce, fish source, and bouillon or stock cubes.

WHO recommendations

WHO recommends a reduction in sodium intake to control blood pressure in children aged 2–15 years.

The recommended maximum level of intake of 2 g/day sodium in adults should be adjusted downward based on the energy requirements of children relative to those of adults.


These recommendations complement the WHO guideline on potassium consumption and should not be interpreted to replace or supersede that guideline. Public health interventions should aim to reduce sodium intake and simultaneously increase potassium intake through foods.

WHO documents


GRC-approved guidelines
Other guidance documents

Evidence


Systematic reviews used to develop the guidelines
Related Cochrane reviews
Clinical trials
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Last update:

10 October 2014 13:47 CEST

Category 1 intervention

Guidelines have been recently approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee