Exactly 15 years ago, I celebrated my 30 th birthday with my first kidney stones. A horseback riding trip a few days earlier apparently dislodged several at once.
After one of the stones was analyzed, my doctor told me to never drink unfiltered Arizona water again, because it’s laced with stone-forming calcium carbonate. Since returning to Arizona, I’ve agonized over the evils of bottled water versus the inadequacies of filtering this state’s concrete-laced tap.
News to me, however, is that children are increasingly suffering from kidney stones, reports The New York Times. Some victims are as young as 5 or 6.
Why would this be? One culprit may be salt, which speeds the crystallization of stones by sticking to calcium while exiting the body. Higher salt levels are coming from processed meats, canned soups, packaged meals and sports drinks, the Times reports. (And eating out is even worse.) I’ve avoided salty foods for a long time because they make me feel sick.
Other possible causes are inadequate hydration, which tend to be a problem for athletic kids. School-aged kids often avoid drinking water because they don’t want to go pee while in the classroom, adds the Times. (Seth does this all the time.)
Other culprits may be obesity, though there are few hard statistics to back this up, and sucrose in soft drinks. No matter how you look at it, our diet is problematic for America’s children.