Obesity, with its comorbidities such as cardiovascular heart disease (CVD), is one of the most common chronic diseases in childhood. It probably begins early in life, and as the prevalence continues to rise the diets of young children assume increasing significance. Cogswell et al provide useful information on the salt and sugar contents of commercial food products that can be used to improve the diets of young children.

Taste preferences for sugar and salt are mostly innate. Sugar and salt contribute to the overall pleasure and enjoyment of food.3,4  Sweet taste receptors respond to all classes of sweet tastants including natural sugars, artificial sweeteners, d-amino acids, and intensely sweet proteins. Pleasure from sweet taste promotes adequate caloric intake for times when food is scarce. Salty taste supports the proper dietary electrolyte balance. This happy relationship becomes a problem when there is a surfeit of food....

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