As the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee considers its options before releasing its official nutritional recommendations this year, it’s clear that the latest push is against salt. Backed by activist groups such as the self-anointed food police at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, New York City is leading the charge against sodium. And in April the Institute of Medicine released a report calling for the FDA to set limits on salt in processed foods.
We’re pushing back. As readers of the Boston Herald discovered yesterday, despite all of the blustering the effects of a national salt reduction aren’t known. Like many reckless activist campaigns against food and ingredients, there could be unintended consequences:
The editor of the American Journal of Hypertension last year recounted nine observational studies of salt intake and heart attacks and strokes. Four found no association between salt and health. That’s one reason he called attempts to tinker with salt intake as amounting to “an experiment on a whole population.”
And let’s not forget that salt reduction can lead to an increase in blood pressure in some people. Because of the variance of how people deal with salt, then, there’s no one-size-fits-all amount the government can mandate….
The IOM report recommends determining the “appropriate” amount of salt to allow in different kinds of food. It’s hard to imagine the government creating a regulation for how much salt can be in every single thing we eat. At that point, the feds might as well publish their own “government-approved” recipe book.
Read the whole piece here.