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Curr Opin Pediatr. 2005 Oct;17(5):642-7.

Diet and blood pressure in children.

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  • 1Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

The prevalence of hypertension among children in the US is increasing in concert with rising obesity rates. Leading health organizations agree that elevated blood pressure should be managed in children; however, data on the relation between diet and lifestyle and blood pressure in this age group are sparse and controversial. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current evidence regarding nutrients, foods, and dietary patterns and their role in blood pressure elevation and in the treatment of pediatric hypertension.

RECENT FINDINGS:

There is clear evidence that avoidance of excess weight gain in early life is important for the prevention of future hypertension and that weight reduction is an important therapeutic intervention for the prevention and treatment of hypertension in overweight children. Similarly, reduction in dietary sodium may be beneficial for children who are salt sensitive, but this trait cannot be easily measured. Children who were breast-fed or consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and dairy foods tend to have lower blood pressure in adolescence. How these foods lower blood pressure is unclear.

SUMMARY:

Data supporting the efficacy of dietary interventions for preventing or treating high blood pressure are limited. Future studies should emphasize adequate sample size, adjustment for confounding factors, use of standardized blood pressure techniques, and random assignment of children in intervention trials. Additionally, because adherence to dietary interventions may be particularly problematic among children, innovative nutrition intervention approaches are needed that address the unique needs and circumstances of this age group.

PMID:
16160541
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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