The kids aren’t doing so alright when it comes to their daily dose of salt, finds a new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pored over data taken from the 2011-2012 version of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). They found that children across the board, from ages 6 to 18, were consuming more sodium than needed. The average amount eaten was 3,256 milligrams per day, dwarfing the recommended 1,900 to 2,300 milligrams set for children, depending on their age. Overall, almost 90 percent ate more than the upper limit set for their specific age group, with teenage boys consuming the most, and girls the least. There were, however, no noticeable differences in sodium intake between different ethnicities or weight groups.

“Sodium reduction is considered a key public health strategy to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases nationwide and this study is the latest in ongoing CDC efforts to monitor U.S. sodium intake,” said lead author Dr. Zerleen S. Quader, MPH, a data analyst with the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, in a statement.

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