Patterico's Pontifications

3/13/2010

The Pros and Cons of Salt

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 7:29 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

New York leaders are becoming increasingly consumed by salt:

“Earlier this year, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled the National Salt Reduction Initiative, a set of “voluntary” guidelines to cut the amount of sodium in processed and restaurant foods by 20 percent over the next five years. At a press conference, Bloomberg said, “We’re trying to extend the lives and improve the lives of people who live in this city.”
***
Though the guidelines are officially voluntary, they may not stay that way. “If there’s not progress in a few years, we’ll have to consider other options, like legislation,” the city’s former health commissioner, Thomas R. Frieden, said.

Some lawmakers already are. On March 5, New York State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn, introduced legislation that would “prohibit restaurants from using salt when preparing customers’ meals.” A restaurant would be fined $1,000 each time a chef cooked with salt.

This is the latest case of salt hysteria. In 1976, the president of Tufts University said salt was “the most dangerous food additive of all.” According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), salt is “perhaps the deadliest ingredient in the food supply.” Bloomberg recently compared salt to asbestos.”

There’s just one little problem:

“That’s the problem with this non-problem: There’s no conclusive proof that salt is bad for you, or that eating less of it is good for you. In 1988, a massive intrapopulation study involving 7,300 Scottish men showed that sodium had no effect on blood pressure. A 10-year follow-up to the Scottish Heart Health Survey found no connection between salt intake and health outcomes, suggesting that salt is irrelevant to the Grim Reaper.

Scots, despite 13th-century English accusations to the contrary, are no different than other humans. Italians consume almost 11 grams of salt per day, and yet they rank among the world’s best in cardiovascular health. In 1999, an analysis of the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial database, 14 years in the making, revealed there to be “no relationship observed between dietary sodium and mortality.”

There is, however, evidence that salt acts as an antidepressant, which would explain why couch potatoes are so happy sitting around and eating Doritos.”

One American study found similar results but other studies note salt can be dangerous for some high-risk individuals.

— DRJ

31 Responses to “The Pros and Cons of Salt”

  1. I cannot adequately express my extreme annoyance at the nanny-state mentality of legislatures today.

    It sure is a good thing that our country is humming along in such good shape that these clowns have nothing better to do that tell us what we should eat.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  2. God is still punishing New York for the Dutch cheating Manhattan Island out of the Indians for $24.00 worth of beads. With politicians who are a sick joke and a population that deserves everything it gets.

    nk not Pat Robertson (db4a41)

  3. I liked Fail Safe but I thought John Carpenter’s Escape From New York was much more realistic.

    nk not Pat Robertson (db4a41)

  4. Who is anti-science, again?

    JD (d72879)

  5. In explanation Bloomberg said, “We’re trying to extend the lives and improve the lives of people who live in this city.”

    Standard liberal translation – Screw free choice. You proles are too stupid to know what’s good for you, that’s why you need big government looking out for you.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  6. For purposes of the public-policy dispute, it shouldn’t even matter if salt is as good for you as gonorrhea. People should be allowed to choose to prepare/sell/buy/eat whatever salty foods they damn please.

    Drop dead, Bloomberg. To quote Hubert Farnsworth, “Just knowing we’re in the same genus makes me embarrassed to call myself Homo.”

    Alan (07ccb5)

  7. I absolutely believe that if it were feasible for the government to require everyone to spend half an hour per day on the treadmill, and to enforce that requirement, then Bloomberg would support it.

    What a despicable creature.

    Alan (07ccb5)

  8. In my lifetime, we’ve been told to eat and not to eat products like flour, fish, meats, eggs, milk, butter, coffee, tea, sugar, and salt. We’ve been told to avoid sun exposure and to be sure to get enough sunlight. We’ve been warned about the dangers of allergens, mold, asbestos, and mercury — things most of us grew up with on a daily basis. It’s amazing humans survived this long.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  9. There is a book titled “The Revenge of Conscience”. The idea, as I understand it, is if we don’t spend time concerned with the things we should be concerned with, then we invest our efforts in increasingly ridiculous things.

    MD in Philly (70a1ba)

  10. Mmmm….salty crunchy! Hands off, Bloomberg.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  11. “It’s amazing humans survived this long.”

    DRJ – Without liberals telling us what to do, it is truly amazing.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  12. If the human race survived the first few millennia of the medical profession, I guess we can pretty much survive anything.

    Alan (07ccb5)

  13. Well, first couple of millennia.

    Or first several centuries.

    Whatever. I know as much about history as Nurse Bloomberg does about the importance of freedom.

    Alan (07ccb5)

  14. MD in Philly – I find if I don’t spend time worrying about things I should not be concerned with or can control, which can be a lot when you really think it through, I have a lot more peace between my ears. How much can I control beyond my words and actions?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  15. I compiled this list in 2003; it has grown since then.

    According the the watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest, the following things are bad for you:

    Alfalfa sprouts
    Apple pies
    Baby food
    Bacon
    Baked potatoes with sour cream
    Baklava
    Beef
    Beef burritos
    Beer
    Belgian waffles
    Berries
    BLT sandwiches
    Brie
    Buffalo wings
    Butter
    Caffe latte
    Caffe mocha
    Caffeine
    Candy
    Canned fish
    Cantaloupes
    Cappuccino
    Cereals
    Cheese
    Cheese fries
    Cheese manicotti
    Cheese nachos
    Cheese ravioli
    Cheeseburgers
    Cheesecake
    Chef’s salad
    Chicken enchiladas
    Chicken fingers
    Chicken nuggets
    Chicken pot pies
    Chile rellenos
    Chimichangas
    Chinese Restaurants
    Chocolate cake
    Chocolate chips
    Chocolate mousse
    Clams
    Condiments
    Cookie dough
    Cookies
    Corned beef
    Crackers
    Cream cheese
    Cream of broccoli soup
    Creamed spinach
    Croissants
    Danish
    Desserts
    Dips
    Donuts
    Eggplant Parmigiana
    Eggs
    Enchiladas
    Family restaurants
    Fat-free cakes
    Fat-free cookies
    Fat-free ice cream
    Feta cheese
    Food coloring
    French fries
    French toast
    Fried calamari
    Fried clams
    Fried fish
    Fried mozzarella sticks
    Fried rice
    Fried shrimp
    Frozen dinners
    Frozen turkey
    Fruit cocktails
    Fruit drinks
    Fruit juice
    Fudge brownie Sundaes
    Garlic bread
    General Tso’s chicken
    Granola bars
    Greek salads
    Grilled cheese
    Gyros
    Ham sandwiches
    Hamburgers
    Home-canned vegetables
    Homemade eggnog
    Homemade frosting
    Hot fudge sundaes
    Italian restaurants
    Kung pao chicken
    Lasagna
    Lettuce
    Lo mein
    Luncheon meats
    Macaroni and cheese
    Margarine
    Mayonnaise
    Meatloaf
    Meat-stuffed grape leaves
    Melons
    Mexican restaurants
    Milk
    Milk shakes
    Movie popcorn
    Mushrooms
    Mussels
    Olestra
    Omelets
    Onion rings
    Orange beef
    Oysters
    Pancakes
    Pastries
    Pizza
    Pork chops
    Potato chips
    Prime rib
    Pudding
    Quick service restaurants
    Rotisserie turkey
    Saccharin
    Salad dressings
    Salads
    Salt
    Sandwich shops
    Sandwiches
    Sausage
    Scones
    Seafood
    Seafood restaurants
    Shellfish
    Soft drinks
    Soups
    Spaghetti and meatballs
    Steakhouses
    Stuffed potato skins
    Sweet and sour pork
    Taco salads
    Veal Parmigiana
    Waffles
    Wine

    Some chump (050674)

  16. No! No! Not waffles …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. Here’s what we’ve found in medicine lately:

    Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

    Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

    Africans drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

    Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

    Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fatty foods and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

    Conclusion: eat and drink whatever you want, apparently it’s speaking English that kills you.

    Some chump (050674)

  18. Scones?

    Fucking SCONES????

    For the love of god, MILK is bad for me? Jesus God in heaven…

    According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), salt is “perhaps the deadliest ingredient in the food supply.” Bloomberg recently compared salt to asbestos.”

    Really now. So tell me, jackasses, how do you suggest I get my needed dose of fucking sodium, huh? You know, that mineral that my body ABSOLUTELY REQUIRES to function?

    These people really are morons. Complete and utter morons.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  19. While the big-mommy limousine liberals running New York City (Hi, Michael Bloomberg!) are up in arms about the negative impact of friggin’ salt on people’s health, their counterparts in other parts of the public sector (ie, the Congress) have meddled with another aspect of society.

    So in an irony of ironies, as one band of politicians plays the fussbudget with seasonings in the kitchen, the other band plays the crypt keeper with the clock on the wall:

    generalmedicine.suite101.com:

    The New England Journal of Medicine recently published (October 2008) a study documenting an increased risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack) occurring just after the change to daylight savings time in the spring.

    The study, run by physicians Janszky and Ljung from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, examined patient records dating back to 1987 and found the following:

    – a small increase (5%) in the risk of heart attack in the first three days of the new week after springing forward to daylight savings time.

    – a small decrease (a reversion, although not as significant as the risk in March, for the entire following week) in risk when clocks are turned back in the Fall (this year occurring on November 1,2009).

    Mark (411533)

  20. So Mark – If we turn the clocks back an hour every week for the entire year would we then have fewer heart attacks every week? And we could only lose two days and four hours a year. Not to mention extra sleep every weekend.
    /sarc (if it is needed)

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  21. “We’re trying to extend the lives and improve the lives of people who live in this city.”

    Why?

    The Obama administration and the Congressional dems are trying to do everything in their power to shorten lives. Isn’t Bloomberg out of step? Hasn’t mayor Bloomberg gotten the memo that circulated to the rest of us Americans?

    In the Netherlands they either just introduced or just passed legislation to allow anyone over 70 who’s “tired of living” to seek suicide assistance from their doctor.

    I can’t wait until I’m retired and on Obamacare. I’m sure “end of life counseling” will consist of having the doctor physician’s assistant nurse Obama youth volunteer walking into the examining room and saying “What, you’re still here.”

    Steve (d06736)

  22. The words “doctor,” “physician’s assistant,” and “nurse” were supposed to have been struck through in the above comment. For some reason that feature doesn’t appear to be working.

    Steve (d06736)

  23. Even though the strike-through code looks like it works, you have to actually write out the word “strike” like this:

    (strike)(/strike)

    And substitute brackets for the parentheses.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  24. Ah – the myths rule. nk not Pat Robinson take heed.
    The Dutch met up with a bunch of Native Americans (Indians for the non-PC) from what is now called Brooklyn. The Indians were hunting in Manhattan not living there.

    When the Dutch wanted to buy Manhattan, the Native Americans took the suckers.

    BTW, That the trading materials were only “worth” about $24.00 is based on the value of such goods in an English market.

    To understand something about international or, even, local trade, you should look at other “trades.”

    For example, various spices were very cheap in the “Spice Islands” but, after a couple of thousand miles of travel to European markets were highly expensive.

    Was the ultimate consumer being defrauded by those wiley merchants? Not if you crunch the numbers regarding the cost of transporting those “cheap” spices from the Far East to Europe.
    Remember – a “little incorrect knowledge” is a dangerous weapon in the hands of a legislator.

    Longwalker (798ff9)

  25. Brooklyn Indians??

    14.MD in Philly – I find if I don’t spend time worrying about things I should not be concerned with or can control, which can be a lot when you really think it through, I have a lot more peace between my ears. How much can I control beyond my words and actions?
    Comment by daleyrocks — 3/13/2010

    I think I didn’t make the point clear. If one reads this blog and is not a troll, the book is not about you. If you worry more about what the Europeans think about Gitmo than Islamist radicals blowing things up, then one qualifies.

    So, there are a lot of things of higher priority in NYC than the amount of salt in food, but rather than address them, let’s spend time and energy fighting salt so we don’t need to think about them.

    MD in Philly (70a1ba)

  26. Why shouldn’t Democrats control what you can put in your mouth? They already have control over most of what’s allowed to come out of it.

    ropelight (3ccbb6)

  27. Ok, God is punishing the descendants of the Indians not of the Dutch.

    BTW, “Indian” is likely to stay because, PC or not, it is a legal definition in the Constitution, in Indian Treaties and in the body of law establiship wardship, reservations, etc., whereras Native Americans is not (witness what’s going with “native” Hawaians).

    nk not Pat Robertson (db4a41)

  28. Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called “wheat germ, organic honey and tiger’s milk.”

    Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.

    Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or… hot fudge?

    Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy… precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.

    Dr. Melik: Incredible.

    Sleeper

    Horatio (55069c)

  29. PUT EXTRA SALT ON YOUR FOOD IN PROTEST!

    I would, but I have high blood pressure.

    JEA (d2e603)

  30. I would, but I have high blood pressure.

    Apparently you missed the part where they said there was no conclusive link between salt and cardiovascular health:

    “That’s the problem with this non-problem: There’s no conclusive proof that salt is bad for you, or that eating less of it is good for you. In 1988, a massive intrapopulation study involving 7,300 Scottish men showed that sodium had no effect on blood pressure. A 10-year follow-up to the Scottish Heart Health Survey found no connection between salt intake and health outcomes, suggesting that salt is irrelevant to the Grim Reaper.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  31. Your blog is interesting,but i find that too much salt or sodium has caused me to have high blood pressure.

    AR Sabir (66a9f5)


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