Researchers led by Harvard Medical School observed around 3,200 children between 8 and 17 years of age who had taken part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1988 to 1994.
They compared the blood pressure rates of the children with those of 8,300 kids who were also part of the survey between 1999 and 2008 and found that the number of boys who could have been termed as having elevated blood pressure increased from 15.8 percent to 19.2 percent during the period while that among the girls went up from 8.2 percent to 12.6 percent. The study has been published in the journal Hypertension.
"Kids eat far too much sodium. And they aren't adding it at the table, and their parents aren't putting it into food; they're getting it through processed foods. On some level we know there has been some relationship between obesity and blood pressure and some previous studies showed that blood pressure has risen over time", lead author of the study, Dr Stephen Daniels said.