Ten percent of deaths in the United States can be attributed in part to the overconsumption of salt, a new Harvard study says.
The death of more than 2 million cardiovascular deaths worldwide in 2010 were linked to excessive salt intake, the study says, and one in 10 Americans are dying from eating too much sodium.
ABC News says that the study was commissioned by the same group that concluded that 25,000 deaths nationwide per year could be attributed to sugary drinks.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that people consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of salt per day, and a 2011 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine recommended that people can protect themselves simply by adjusting their diet away from sodium.
In an unrelated study, the American Heart Association says that children are especially susceptible to high salt levels. Its survey concluded that 75 percent of prepackaged meals for toddlers and babies had more salt than recommended.
Researchers say that evidence of high salt levels in younger children leads to an increased likelihood of hypertension later in life.
Unfortunately, doctors admit that salt is simply one of the most difficult substances to avoid and that the key is limiting it as much as possible.
"For the average person, it's very hard to avoid salt - you have to be incredibly motivated, incredibly educated, have access to a range of foods and do all the cooking yourself," Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a Harvard School of Public Health epidemiologist, told ABC News.