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Your favourite hot chocolate may be as salty as seawater

Each serving of chocolate powder is worse than eating a bag of crisps. Out of the 28 food categories analysed, only 'bread rolls' were found to reach the agreed salt reduction

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March 21, 2017: Love to drink hot chocolate? Beware, it may be as salty as seawater with 16 times more salt than the maximum target, researchers warned.

The findings showed that each serving of chocolate powder is worse than eating a bag of crisps. Out of the 28 food categories analysed, only ‘bread rolls’ were found to reach the agreed salt reduction.

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Most people were found to eat one third more than the maximum recommended intake which may lead to higher blood pressure, putting strain on the heart, arteries, kidneys and brain and eventually leading to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease.

“Salt is the forgotten killer. We are shocked to see that many food manufacturers and retailers are still failing to meet the salt reduction targets, despite having had years to work towards them,” Katharine Jenner, nutritionist at Consensus Action on Salt and Health — a Britain-based organisation, was quoted as saying to the telegraph.co.uk.

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Further, a huge disparity in similar food products was found.

A shopping basket of everyday items could contain 57g more salt depending on which brands were selected.

Some breakfast cereals contained just three per cent of the salt, compared to others, the researchers said.

Reducing daily salt intake from 8g to 6g per day could prevent 14,000 deaths a year, the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Growth Hormone Deficiency May Also Hit Healthy Children

Since he started getting these injections two years ago, Spencer has grown about 15 centimeters.

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FILE - UNICEF staff measure a girl's height to see if she is stunted in a village health clinic of South Hamgyong province, North Korea. VOA

Most healthy children between the ages of four and 10 grow about five centimeters (two inches) a year. So, one family knew something was wrong when their son fit into the same clothes, season after season. Doctors were able to get him growing once again after testing for a growth hormone.

Eleven year-old Spencer Baehman is passionate about baseball.

“My goal is to play college baseball,” Spencer said.

There was only one problem. Spencer was the shortest player on his team. It didn’t stop him from playing, but the height difference was noticeable. And it made Spencer feel different.

“I want to be as tall as these kids,” Spencer said.

At first, Spencer’s parents thought their son was just small, but gradually, they suspected something was wrong. His mom, Stephanie Baehman, became worried.

“It really set in one year coming out of winter into spring when he got out his cleats for spring baseball and he put them on, and they fit. And they never should have fit. Those were from the spring prior,” Baehman said.

Spencer’s parents set up an appointment with Dr. Bert Bachrach, the chief of pediatric endocrinology at University of Missouri Health Care. Nurses measured Spencer’s height.

After careful testing, Dr. Bachrach determined a growth hormone deficiency was causing Spencer’s growth failure. Hormones are basically chemicals that send messages from one cell to another.

“Growth hormone just doesn’t affect your growth, it affects your muscle mass and fat distribution, so that affects your cholesterol, that affects you overall, it also affects your overall sense of wellbeing,” Bachrach said.

Young Kids learning
Young Kids learning. pixabay

Growth hormone insufficiency is a disorder involving the pituitary gland which is a small, pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain. It’s this gland that produces human growth hormone, among others.

Also Read: Poor Aerobic Fitness Increases Risk of Diabetes in Kids

Every day, Spencer’s mother gives him a daily hormone injection. Since he started getting these injections two years ago, Spencer has grown about 15 centimeters (six inches). But just in case he doesn’t grow tall, he has a reminder written in each of his baseball caps.

“It says HDMH, which means height doesn’t measure heart,” Spencer read.

And heart is something Spencer has plenty of. (VOA)