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How is excess sodium in the diet linked to obesity

  1. Dec 25, 2005 #1


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    How is excess sodium in the diet linked to obesity and high blood pressure?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2005 #2
    Sodium does have an affect on the human brain it can cause depolarzation.I'am not sure why it causes obesity.
  4. Dec 25, 2005 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    I've never read about sodium linked to obesity. It can cause water retention, but that is only a few pounds at most and fluctuates.

    Here is a good explanation of how sodium can contribute to high blood pressure.

    "How Does Sodium Contribute to High Blood Pressure?

    In a complex way, increased salt intake causes more fluid to be contained in the blood vessels. This increased volume of blood requires the heart to work harder to pump blood to all the tissues in the body. Increasing the bloods volume within the enclosure of the circulatory system is one way that salt increases blood pressure. Another way salt may help elevate blood pressure is through the action of the arterioles. Arterioles are blood vessels that dilate and constrict to regulate blood pressure and blood flow. By contracting under the influence of sodium, arterioles effectively increase the resistance to blood movement and lessen the volume of blood that is returned to the heart. This action also increases blood pressure. Other mechanisms linking sodium with hypertension are less well understood. The extent to which each person responds to high intake of salt is probably genetically determined. Some people are more susceptible to the effects of sodium than others, and sodium sensitivity appears to increase with age.

    http://health.rutgers.edu/factsheets/sodium.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  5. Dec 25, 2005 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
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    What is the origin or this question, or where did one find the association between sodium in the diet and obesity. Certainly, excess sodium will contribute to higher blood pressure.

    Likely the diet is the key term. Processed food, particularly frozen meals, often contain more salt (for taste) and likely more carbohydrates and saturated fats, which will contribute to obesity. Snacks food, e.g. potato chips, corn chips, etc, have salt, carbohydrates and fats/oils - none of which have nutritional value - but they are filling, i.e. they satiate an appetite.

    With regard to salt, the body adapts to the taste so that some people must increase salt in the food to achieve a taste, and as one ages, one looses the ability to smell and taste, and this may induce one to increase in salt in the food. I have observed this with older people I know.

    So I think diet, which may include processed and snack food with relatively high salt, carbohydrate and fat proportions contribute to obesity and high blood pressure.

    The other factor in obesity and high blood pressure, is lack of excercise!

    So to prevent high blood pressure and obesity - eat lean white/pink meats and fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Minimize caloric intake and exercise in proportion to one's food intake. A miminal excercise can mean walking at least 2 miles/3 km each day, and preferably more. Also riding a bicycle, for 5-8 miles at least, swimming, and or some other sport where one is doing aerobic activity for at least 40 minutes is desirable.
  6. Dec 26, 2005 #5
    This is very interesting, Evo. I had never wondered exactly how salt raises blood pressure but the increased fluid volume and the response of the arterioles to it explains it pretty well. I'm getting very sensitive to salt the older I get and can literally feel my blood pressure go up after I eat something salty like popcorn.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  7. Dec 28, 2005 #6


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    How do you "feel your blood pressure go up?"
  8. Dec 28, 2005 #7
    Not everyone can do it. You have to have a special extra sense, much like ESP.
  9. Dec 29, 2005 #8


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    Ha ha ha ha ha. Are you serious?
  10. Dec 29, 2005 #9
    Ha ha ha ha ha. No.
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