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Congress Plans To (Slowly) Take Our Salt

From the “prestigious” Congress-created Institute of Medicine:

Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States

Released: 4/20/2010

Report Brief

Americans consume unhealthy amounts of sodium in their food, far exceeding public health recommendations. Consuming too much sodium is a concern for all individuals, as it increases the risk for high blood pressure, a serious health condition that is avoidable and can lead to a variety of diseases. Analysts estimate that population-wide reductions in sodium could prevent more than 100,000 deaths annually.

While numerous stakeholders have initiated voluntary efforts to reduce sodium consumption in the United States during the past 40 years, they have not succeeded.

So now it is time for the government to step in.

Challenges arise because salt—the primary source of sodium in the diet—and other sodium-containing compounds often are used to enhance the flavor of foods, and high amounts are found in processed foods and foods prepared in restaurants. Sodium also is added to enhance texture or to serve as a preservative or thickener. In fact, very little of the sodium in foods is naturally occurring; most of it is added as it is being processed or prepared by the food industry. The actual sodium levels in food may surprise consumers, especially if the food does not taste salty.

In 2008, Congress asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to recommend strategies for reducing sodium intake to levels recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans—currently no more than 2,300 mg per day for persons 2 or more years of age.

And it has taken the IOM two years to recommend such a “strategy.” And untold millions of dollars.

This amounts to about 1 teaspoon of salt per day, while the average American consumes about 50 percent more than that—more than 3,400 mg of sodium per day.

The IOM committee that authored this report concludes that a new, coordinated approach is needed to reduce sodium content in food, requiring new government standards for the acceptable level of sodium. Manufacturers and restaurants/foodservice operators need to meet these standards so that all sources in the food supply are involved and so that the consumer’s taste preferences can be changed over time to the lower amounts of salt in food.

The goal is to slowly, over time, reduce the sodium content of the food supply in a way that goes unnoticed by most consumers as individuals’ taste sensors adjust to the lower levels of sodium

That is brilliant! Certainly, this was time and money well spent.

It’s also a great metaphor to how Congress is taking away the rest of our freedoms – “slowly, over time” – so that it will happen “unnoticed” by most of us as our liberty “sensors adjust” to the new “lower levels” of freedom.

Oh, and for the record, here is a synopsis of the previous report from the “prestigious” Congress-created Institute of Medicine, (which we had never heard of until today):

Student Mobility: Exploring the Impacts of Frequent Moves on Achievement Released: April 16, 2010

Many low-income families struggle with stable housing and frequently have to move due to foreclosures, rent increases, or other financial setbacks. Children in these families can experience lasting negative effects, especially those who are young and still developing basic learning and social skills. A joint National Research Council/IOM committee held a workshop in June 2009 to examine these issues, highlight patterns in current research, and discuss how to develop a support system for at-risk children…

They sure sound scientific, don’t they? 

They don’t have any political agenda at all.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

17 Responses to “Congress Plans To (Slowly) Take Our Salt”

  1. proreason says:

    More evidence that the thousands of new white house staffers stuffed in dozens of office buildings around DC are busy as beavers.

    Soon, they will be dictating who you can talk to, date or marry.

    All for the public good, of course.

  2. NoNeoCommies says:

    Too much salt is a bad thing and I find some foods have too much salt, sugar, etc. but the consumer should set the standards or the changes should be voluntary on the part of the manufacturer.
    I am still waiting for an advocacy group to rise up and fight the deleterious affect of constant fear mongering on our health.
    Just think how much less stress the people would have to endure if the left actually had to prove their scary projections before making them headlines and passing legislation.
    Alar, DDT, Cell phone radiation, global warming, thimersol, all proven NOT to be harmful but billions went down the drain because of scary news headlines and who knows how much damage caused by unnecessary worry.

  3. GetBackJack says:

    Pretty well proves to me that none in the Administration keep Kosher.

  4. Right of the People says:

    I’ll give up my salt when the pull my cold, dead, fingers from around the shaker.

  5. KC says:

    “Analysts estimate that population-wide reductions in sodium could prevent more than 100,000 deaths annually. ”

    I am curious how they arrived at this conclusion–did they page the same people who conjured up the “saved and created” jobs metric?

    • JohnMG says:

      …..“Analysts estimate that population-wide reductions in sodium could prevent more than 100,000 deaths annually…… ”

      Am I to assume that this number includes all the fetuses that are aborted using a toxic saline solution?

      Probably not! Perhaps this the one instance in which these cretins find excessive sodium perfectly acceptable–even desireable.

    • Mithrandir says:

      How can a government and media be trusted when everything that happens is “unexpected?”

      So, their facts and figures can be “unexpectedly” wrong then can’t it?

  6. thekatzemeow says:

    Hi all! (Long time reader, first time poster) This salt thing REALLY makes me boil!

    Ok, here is a link to Junkfood Science – speaking of all the salt trials that have been conducted and results that the media/congress ignore.

    note that she links to a 14+ year study that followed the effects of low-sodium diets.

    “Having too much salt in our bodies, called hypernatremia, is extremely rare and occurs in about 1% of debilitated hospitalized patients as a symptom of an underlying disease or inability to drink water.”

    “if we get sick, exercise or go out in the hot sun and then drink water essential to avoiding dehydration, the amount of sodium in our body can more quickly become diluted to dangerously low levels. That’s called hyponatremia. It’s the most common electrolyte disorder and a special risk for infants and elderly, according to Dr. Sandy Craig, M.D., at the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It’s also dangerous and can result in swelling of our brain, seizures, coma, heat stroke, leg cramps, heart arrhythmias and circulatory collapse. “

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Well, there you have it. Pelosi will simply have to introduce a bill to outlaw the Sun.

    • confucius says:

      Hi katzemeow.

      Hyper- and hyponatremia are medical conditions reflecting the concentration of sodium in the blood and not the total sodium content in the body.

      Mathematically speaking, measured sodium concentration is = total amount of sodium in the serum/total volume of serum.

      Consequently, hypernatremia can result from either too much sodium, too little serum or both. Conversely, hyponatremia can result from too little sodium, too much serum or both.

      Most of the time, life-threatening hyper- and hyponatremia result from an imbalance in the serum and not the sodium.

  7. artboyusa says:

    In the UK we are currently being subjected to a government anti-salt propaganda campaign…TV commercials, posters on the sides of buses, leaflets through the letter box…all for our own good, of course. Helps rid us of the awful burden of personal choice while also saving (insert made up number here) lives that would otherwise be lost to the scourge of SALT, the condiment that kills!

  8. AcornsRNutz says:

    When I was younger and had more free time, I used to scare fast food register tenders by complaining that I could clearly taste sodium chloride in my french fries, and as I was a chemistry student I was qualified to make this assertion. Oh what fun that was. Generally they chuckled when someone (manager or other patron) explained that it was salt. This whole thing would really take the fun out of that gag.

  9. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    Obama logic:

    SALT = NaCl = Bad
    SALT = Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty = Good


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