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Less Salt Will Save $26B In Health Costs

From those highly concerned dieticians at Reuters:

Cutting salt could save U.S. billions of dollars

By Amy Norton Wed Sep 9

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Don’t pass the salt: If Americans were to cut their salt intake to recommended levels, they’d have far fewer cases of high blood pressure, and save billions of dollars in health care costs, a new study estimates.

Because high sodium intake can contribute to high blood pressure — and its complications, including heart and kidney disease – the Institute of Medicine recommends that adults consume no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. The average American, however, gets about 1,000 mg more than that, according to the authors of the study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

In the new study, investigators at the non-profit research organization RAND calculated the potential health and financial benefits that could be reaped if Americans cut their average sodium intake to 2,300 mg.

Kartika Palar, a doctoral fellow at RAND in Santa Monica, California, and Dr. Roland Sturm arrived at their conclusions using data from a government health survey conducted between 1999 and 2004. The survey included information on Americans’ sodium intake, blood pressure and medication use.

The researchers estimate that if the average sodium intake fell to the recommended level of 2,300 mg per day, there would be 11 million fewer cases of high blood pressure each year. (Estimates are that about 70 million American adults have high blood pressure.) The costs of treating high blood pressure and related heart disease and strokes would fall by $18 billion.

Cutting sodium consumption down to 1,500 mg, they say, could save $26 billion

Here comes a salt tax.

Which might actually end up being a good thing.

After all, it was the British tax on salt that finally inspired the Indians (in India) to rise up and being to throw off the shackles of colonialism.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, September 10th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “Less Salt Will Save $26B In Health Costs”

  1. MinnesotaRush says:

    “Don’t pass the salt: If Americans were to cut their salt intake to recommended levels, they’d have far fewer cases of high blood pressure, and save billions of dollars in health care costs, a new study estimates.”

    See ya, Morton’s Salt Co. (and all you other salt producers/distributors).

    Hey .. ya’ got the axe before the oil companies; but you outlived the auto industry.

    That’s the o-blah-blah idea of recovery. Not that you survive and prosper .. just how long ya’ make it before he kills ya’.

  2. antares5 says:

    Most salt consumption is from pre-packaged, processed convenience foods. More evil corporations, but if the consumers really had a problem with it, they would actualy read the label and not buy them. Many don’t care.

  3. proreason says:

    Salt, sugar, sugar substitutes, fats, transfats, fat substitutes, snack foods, desserts, McDonalds, beef, alchohol, cream sauces, milk, carcinogens, overeating, undereating, underexercising, overexercising, driving too fast, driving too slow, pets, raising animals for food, not wearing helmets, driving a motorcycle, skydiving, swimming in deep water, drinking tap water, pollution, getting mad, not getting mad, gambling, looking at bad stuff, staying up too late, not getting enough sleep, straining your eyes, watching too much TV, playing the stereo too loud, getting angry, picking up things without a back brace, co2, methane, burning wood, yelling at your kids, spanking your kids, eating meat, getting stressed, hurrying too much, being racist, not going to the doctor, not watching your choleserol, not watching your blood pressure, smoking, breathing second-hand smoke, not brushing your teeth enough, driving too much, turning the thermostat too high, bungie jumping, riding roller-coasters, walking under ladders, having unprotected sex, going outside without a coat, not using sunscreen, toys that kids can swallow, things that are sharp when they break, scissors with points, not locking up knives, not sorting the trash, staring at people, not being friendly enough……..

    it will never end.

    It’s not about what you do, it’s about them being able to tell you what to do.

  4. wirenut says:

    Great points Pro ! Now I’m going to run outside with sissors in hand. Then check tire pressures without wearing a helmet ! Where will it all end?

  5. VMAN says:

    The thing I find odd is that the over consumption of salt has not really been addressed. Everything else has been attacked by the looney left but not necessarily salt. Black people, particularly the men, suffer disproportionately from High blood pressure leading to a shortened life span. I’m sure salt intake is a factor and yet the left doesn’t seem to care. I find that right curious.

    • Confucius says:

      VMAN, you raise a good point.

      There are many foreign cultures that consume more salt than we but don’t suffer from the same rates of hypertension. The Asian and Mediterranean cultures come to mind.

      Conversely, there are many foreign cultures that consume less salt but still suffer from hypertension. African and South American cultures come to mind.

      In this country, we know that black-Americans with hypertension respond to sodium-wasting diuretics but white-American senior citizens do not.

      We also know that most patients require at least two medications to control their hypertension. Many require three. This is because the human body attempts to accomodate to the medication. (For my liberal friends, “accomodate to” means “scam.”)

      All this suggests there are more important contributors to hypertension than salt and that restricting salt and only salt is ludicrous. (Again, for my liberal friends, “ludicrous” means “reedickolas”–and not the rapper.)

  6. Confucius says:

    This Reuter’s article is misleading and factually incorrect.

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is recommending a maximum of 2,300 mg of sodium/day for all Americans, irregardless of their blood pressure.

    The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is recommending a more severe limit of 1,500 mg of sodium/day.

    The NIH is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services–i.e. it’s government. The IOM is a division of the National Academy of Sciences; although the IOM is technically a non-government organization, it officially advises Congress. What this means is sodium-restriction laws are coming.

    In case anyone thinks these recommendations are nuisances that can be ignored, just try a 2,300 mg or 1,500 mg sodium-diet. The food is disgusting. And if the taste doesn’t drive you mad, the endless counting and label-reading will.

    A word of caution though. If you attempt this, know that sodium is everywhere. It’s not just in pre-packaged and restaurant foods. It’s in your aspirin, your tap water and your toothpaste. Hell, it’s even in arugula.

    Another word of caution. If you try this, first lock up your guns, send your children away and make sure your spouse has a will. And above all, do not attempt this during that “special time of the month.”


  7. Enthalpy says:

    Again, we should be so grateful that governments are willing to instruct us about living our lives. After they fumble around and screw up one of the most beautiful documents ever written (the Constitution), they decide to have a go at our health. Of course, everything they take on eventually comes under their control–by design.This is the EU salt shaker designed to limit salt intake in Europe–no doubt coming soon to all of us.**


  8. wirenut says:

    Enthalpy, my EU approved anti-salt-second-hand-smoke-de-bacon-UV-iceberg friendly sunglasses are available at.
    WTFGOV.COM. We also issue life vests, helmets and personnel counseling on, “Why Living, Will make you Dead”.
    Or, for the advanced students. “Life is Dangerous”, (full body suits and helmets required), curriculum includes,”How to Hate the Things that made us Great”. Or, “Finger your opponent”. Time to sign up is now folks! Avoid the last minute rush!

  9. Chuckk says:

    The solution to every problem is a new tax. Obviously when we are all taxed at 90% we will have no more problems.

  10. philmarlowe says:

    Sodium has gotten an undeserved reputation. Government and politicians have a lot to do with elevated blood pressure. And then there’s the booze one must consume to wash away the memory of Obama’s latest speech. Seriously, my doctors have seldom mentioned reducing sodium intake as a strategy to improve hypertension. Losing weight and exercising are more helpful than cutting back on salt. One man’s opinion.

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