Obesity has become a main global health concern over the past three decades. Lifestyle factors, including unhealthy dietary intake and sedentary lifestyles, have been related to increased risk of obesity.
High salt intake has been widely reported to be associated with high blood pressure (BP) and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Over the last few years, several studies have reported that dietary salt intake was associated with overweight/obesity and put forward a hypothesis that salt intake may be an independent risk factor for overweight/obesity in adults.
80% of total sodium intake comes from processed and restaurant food in recent years. Several studies have indicated that increased sodium intake might be related to the rise in obesity prevalence in recent decades. Both obesity and high salt consumption have been linked to greater risk of various chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular events, certain cancers, and other health conditions.
Several reasons may directly link salt consumption and obesity: (i) higher sodium intake drives the thirst response and promotes fluid intake, which might be compensated with drinking sugar-sweetened beverages; (ii) salty foods are often high in fat and energy; (iii) salty foods are more palatable and encourage individuals to consume greater quantities of these foods.
The results of current studies suggest that high salt/sodium intake is associated with Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist Circumference (WC). However, several gaps still remain that warrant further investigation.