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Like salty food? Chances are you had low blood sodium when you were born

sodium loss. The latter was determined by screening all the serum sodium measurements of each infant's postnatal medical record, and selecting the lowest.

Each child underwent a pediatric physical examination. To estimate current sodium appetite, participants were tested for their preferred concentration of salt in soup and sugar in tea, followed by orally administered spray tests involving table salt and table sugar. Between the tests the children and escorting parent(s) were interviewed about dietary and seasoning preferences. The children were then invited to eat freely from a table of salty and sweet snacks.

The researchers used trained experts to collect the above data. The investigators used ANOVA, correlational analysis (Spearman), and SPSS to analyze the data. Alpha was fixed at 0.05 and SEM was the measure of variability.

The Study: Results
Upon review of the data, the researchers concluded that:

  • reported dietary sodium consumption in childhood (ages 8-15) was predicted by neonatal lowest serum sodium (NLS) and not by neonatal diuretic treatment, as they originally proposed.

  • NLS predicted dietary sodium intake in both ethnic groups and both boys and girls.

  • the 14 children with the most severe NLS (serum sodium<130 mEq/L) ate double the number of salty snacks (p<0.05) and their dietary sodium intake was substantially higher -- 4515 ±310 mg/day vs. 3307± 248 (p=0.0054) -- than their peers.

  • no relationship was found between neonatal lowest serum sodium and a preference for salt per se. Rather, the preference was for the foods that contain it.

  • gestational age and birthweight were not predictors of childhood sodium intake.

Conclusions
The researchers concluded that low sodium blood serum in infants ?not gestational age, birthweight or neonatal diuretic treatment ?predicts an increased intake of d
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Source:American Physiological Society


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