"Really, the bottom line is that we need to make healthier diet choices overall," Sandon said.
Kristi King, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, agreed that overall diet and lifestyle are what matter.
"We can't necessarily say childhood obesity is salt's fault -- or sugar-sweetened beverages' fault," said King, senior dietician at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.
But, she added, the study is a "great wake-up call" for parents to take a look at their children's, and their own, eating habits.
"Children learn by example, so if high-sodium foods and sugar-sweetened beverages are readily available in the house and consumed by the parents on a regular basis, [kids] are going to be more likely to consume those as well," King said.
Learn ways to cut down on sodium from the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
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