Almost one in four American children under the age of five is obese. Although that number has not changed much in the past decade, the CDC may have new information that explains the alarmingly high number for such young children. According to the CDC, most pre-packaged foods for toddlers contain too much sugar and salt, leading to later obesity and health risks. Alarmingly, almost 80 percent of children between 1 and 3 years of age exceed the recommended daily dosage of sodium, which explains why around 700 of the 1,000 tested toddler meals contained high amounts of sodium.
“We know that about one in nine children have blood pressure above the normal range for their age, and that sodium, excess sodium, is related to increased blood pressure," the CDC's Mary Cogswell told Fox News. "Blood pressure tracks from when children are young up through adolescence into when they're adults. Eating foods which are high in sodium can set a child up for high blood pressure and later on for cardiovascular disease."
A toddler meal should contain no more than 210 mg of salt, but the average pre-packaged meal, according to the study, was 1.5 times higher than the limit. On average, 47 percent of toddler mixed grain snacks and 66 percent of the calories in dried fruit snacks were from sugar.
However, because the study is based on nutritional information and data from 2013, the Grocery Manufacturers of America feel that the study does not accurately represent products on the market today.