Food Is Not Your Enemy

Bloomberg’s Anti-Salt Crusade Bolstered by New Study
January 22, 2010, 10:01 pm
Filed under: Chronic Disease, food politics | Tags: ,

Considering that he himself is known to have a heavy hand when it comes to the salt shaker, many are skeptical about New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s new initiative to trim New Yorkers’ salt intake by 25 percent. What is he, our mother?

But a new report in the New England Journal of Medicine, as reported in The New York Times, finds that reducing our salt intake, even by a small amount, can reduce cases of heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks as much as reductions in smoking, obesity and cholesterol levels.

Says the Times piece:

“If everyone consumed half a teaspoon less salt per day, there would be between 54,000 and 99,000 fewer heart attacks each year and between 44,000 and 92,000 fewer deaths, according to the study, which was conducted by scientists at University of California San Francisco, Stanford University Medical Center and Columbia University Medical Center.”

Only 10 percent of the salt in the American diet comes from our salt shakers–the other 90 percent is found in processed and restaurant foods. If the Bloomberg administration can mandate lower sodium content in the prepared foods we buy, it will absolutely improve the health of New Yorkers. And if, under any new regulations, you find that your new lower-salt fried chicken isn’t salty enough? Then put on your own salt after you buy it. But you’ll be doing yourself a big favor if you don’t.


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