BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Eating excess amounts of salt and fat is a known negative for blood pressure and cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but now added sugar in foods may also be associated with health problems for adults and older adolescents – or younger.

A study published in the April 2014 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests the onset of problems can occur in people younger than previously associated with high intake of salt, fat and added sugars.

To test the theory a study was conducted among multi-ethnic patients taking part in the Admixture Mapping of Ethnic and Racial Insulin Complex Outcomes (AMERICO) study. That study investigated the effects of racial-ethnic differences on metabolic and health outcomes using a multiple regression analyses.

Various analyses were done evaluating the relationship of added sugars and sodium intakes with blood pressure, and of added sugars and dietary fat intakes with blood lipids. Models were controlled for sex, race-ethnicity, socioeconomic status, Tanner pubertal status, percentage body fat, physical activity, and total energy intake.

The results have lead researchers to conclude that the increased consumption of added sugars may be associated with adverse cardiovascular health factors in children, specifically elevated diastolic blood pressure and triglycerides.

Dietary factors also impact cardiovascular health during childhood, and if controlled could serve as a tool to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease later in life.

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