[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.”