Children aged five and six are eating 0.75 grams more salt than the recommended daily amount and teens are exceeding the limit by around 1.5 grams, researchers claim.
The recommended daily levels of salt according to age are as follows:
- One to two years - 2g salt per day (0.8g sodium)
- Four to six years - 3g salt per day (1.2g sodium)
- Seven to 10 years - 5g salt per day (2g sodium)
- 11 years and over - 6g salt per day (2.4g sodium)
The study showed that 36% of children's intake of salt comes from a combination of bread-based and cereal products, while meat provided an additional 19%.
An example of salt levels in popular foods (taken from a sample of popular brands):
- Children's cereal: around 0.3g salt per 30g
- A slice of white bread: around 0.35g salt per slice
- Pork sausages: around 0.3g per sausage
- Ready salted crisps: around 0.45g per packet
More than a third of children's salt consumption is from breads and cereals, researchers have found.
Analysis of young people's diets found that they eat an "unhealthy amount of salt on a daily basis". 36% of this salt comes from cereal and bread-based products, according to the new research.
The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, found that many children are exceeding the recommended intake of salt on a daily basis.
Farmed salmon should be sterilised to prevent them breeding with wild fish and introducing genetic weaknesses, experts have urged.
Millions of salmon escape from fish farms each year, and can get into wild spawning populations where they can reproduce and introduce negative genetic traits.
"Farmed salmon grow very fast, are aggressive, and not as clever as wild salmon when it comes to dealing with predators.
"These domestic traits are good for producing fish for the table, but not for the stability of wild populations". Lead researcher Professor Matt Gage said.
The maker of the hipster pastry Cronut - a cross between a croissant and a doughnut - has hit Texas' SXSW festival with its latest assault on the taste buds: The Cookie Milk Shot.
New York's Dominique Ansel Bakery has made chocolate chip cookie dough into the shape of a shotglass and filled it with cold milk specially for the festival, which sees upcoming artists, bands and technology firms launch their latest work.
Consumers are being urged to cut their sugar intake to 5% per day by the World Health Organisation.
Health campaigners Action on Sugar have warned some foods are deceptive about the amount of sugar they contained.
- Some fat free yoghurt can contain up to five teaspoons of refined sugar
- Tomato based pasta sauce was found to have three teaspoons of sugar per jar
- One tablespoon of shop bought white coleslaw was found to have four teaspoons of sugar
- "Enhanced" or flavoured water was found to have as much as 15g of sugar
- Some processed bread was found to have as much as 3g of sugar
Health experts have backed a move by the World Health Organisation to reduce sugar intake from 10 per cent to 5 per cent of total energy intake per day.
The WHO has argued that halving sugar intake would bring "additional health benefits", but experts have called on the WHO to make their 5 per cent recommendation official - it is currently only a draft proposal.
Experts have also criticised the UK government for its handling of the food and drinks industry, which is currently only required to sign up to voluntary codes on sugar levels.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that people should cut their sugar intake in half.
The WHO currently recommends a daily intake of 50g for adults - equivalent to about six level teaspoons - but is drafting recommendations that this should be halved.
The proposals follow warnings from England's chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, that a "sugar tax" may be needed to reduce sugar levels in food and drink.
Shadow public health minister Luciana Berger wrote on Twitter:
Sugar tax is not fair.Most senior health officials clearly in despair at collapsing Responsibility Deal & Ministers caving into big business
Chief Medical Officer's sugar tax call is a clear sign the Govt's flagship public health policy is failing people across the country
Britain has "normalised being overweight" and needs to get a tough grip on the UK's sugar addiction, the chief medical officer has told MPs.
Speaking at the health select committee, Professor Dame Sally Davies warned promoting physical education would not be enough to solve the obesity crisis.
I worry that we have re-sized a women's dress size so that a size 14 now was a size 12 when I was student. We have normalised being overweight.
We have to find a new way - not of ostracising people who are obese and making them feel bad about themselves - but somehow of helping them to understand this is pathological and will cause them harm.
We have a generation of children who because they are overweight and lack activity may not live as long as my generation; they will be the first generation who will live less.
ITV News readers have spoken overwhelmingly against the suggestion of a 'sugar tax', made by England's chief medical officer in response to the country's obesity crisis.
At the time of writing, not a single response on Twitter or the ITV News Facebook page has supported the idea floated by Dame Sally Davies.
Aren't the public ever going to be allowed to be responsible for their own health? I am getting so fed up with being told what I can and can't eat.
The government should focus on making healthy food cheap and stop food prices rocketing.
I actually think medical "experts" are a bigger threat to personal freedoms than the police, secret services, GCHQ, etc.