Salt restriction is important for the prevention and treatment of hypertension; however, salt consumption is still high in Japan. Improvements in dietary habits, including salt reduction in childhood, may contribute to the prevention of hypertension. The aim of the present study was to investigate the salt intake of school-aged children and the relationship between their diet diary and actual salt intake. The subjects comprised 580 schoolchildren (471 elementary school pupils and 109 junior high school pupils) who wanted to evaluate their salt intake in Kuji, a northeast coastal area in Japan. We estimated salt intake using spot urine samples and a formula. Lifestyle was assessed using a questionnaire. We also evaluated the salt intake and the lifestyles of 440 parents. The estimated salt intakes of elementary school pupils, junior high school pupils and their parents were 7.1±1.5, 7.6±1.5 and 8.0±1.7 g per day, respectively. The proportion of lower-grade children who achieved the recommended salt intake was low. In the multivariate analysis, the estimated salt intake of school-aged children correlated with their age, estimated salt intake of their parents and the menu priorities of the household. The estimated salt intake of the parents was associated with female gender, obesity, age and the habitual consumption of bread and noodles. In conclusion, the estimated salt intake of school-aged children positively correlated with the estimated salt intake of their parents, and the proportion of lower-grade children who achieved the recommended salt intake was low. Guidance on salt restriction for children and their parents may reduce the salt intake of school-aged children.
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