Limiting the amount of salt contained in a child's diet could help to prevent the need for obesity treatment new research suggests.
Children who ate less salt were found to drink fewer sugar-sweetened beverages which, according to scientists, are a significant source of calorie intake in children.
Dr Feng He, a cardiovascular research fellow at St George's University of London, said that sugary drinks have been linked to obesity in young people.
The researchers therefore set out to find out whether there was a link between salt intake and soft drink consumption.
They found that for every gram of salt removed from a child's diet, sugar-sweetened drink consumption fell by 27 grams.
Dr He concluded: "Not only would reducing salt intake lower blood pressure in children, but it could also play a role in helping to reduce obesity."
The findings are published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.