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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We know we have an issue with obesity in children in this country and, not surprisingly, high blood pressure is also on the rise in kids: more and more children and adolescents are being diagnosed with the condition.

The change in our country has been dramatic. Data was looked at as early as 1988 and in more current time frames what they found was back in the late eighties high blood pressure affected only 15.8% of boys in 8.2% of girls. Today it is about 19.2% of boys and 12.6%.

These researchers also found an association between increased sodium intake, increased body mass index – or bmi – and elevated blood pressure in these children. They note that the average dietary intake of sodium in children has been on the rise and continues to increase.

The report is from the journal Hypertension.

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