The World Health Organization (WHO) has for the first time recommended limits on children’s daily consumption of sodium which it hopes will help in the global fight against diet-related diseases becoming chronic among all populations. In advice to its 194 member states, the U.N. agency noted high sodium levels were a factor behind elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, the number one cause of death and disability worldwide. The guidelines vary depending on the child’s size, age, and energy needs, and apply to children over the age of two.
“The successful implementation of these recommendations would have an important public health impact through reductions in morbidity and mortality, improvement in the quality of life for millions of people, and substantial reductions in healthcare costs,” the agency said.
It would be updating soon WHO guidelines on the consumption of fats and sugars, also linked to obesity and disease.