Low-Salt Mandates: Who Pays for the Damages?

By now you've probably read "Low-Salt Diet Ineffective, Study Finds. Disagreement Abounds" by Gina Kolata of the NYTimes. She's reporting on "Fatal and Nonfatal Outcomes, Incidence of Hypertension, and Blood Pressure Changes in Relation to Urinary Sodium Excretion" published this week in JAMA. The big news is that lowering salt in healthy adults was associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Meanwhile, those subjects in the same study on significantly higher sodium diets were much less likely than those on low-sodium diets to die over the years of follow-up (a median of 7.9yrs for the 3681 members of the cohort).

What you might not have read though are the numerous articles coming to similar conclusions. Take for example last fall's "Low-salt Diet Increases Insulin Resistance in Healthy Subjects". Insulin resistance is a big risk factor for diabetes and diabetes is a big risk factor for CVD.

So what to make of the efforts of the low-salt advocates to subject all Americans to what amounts to a mass uncontrolled experiment without their consent (informed or otherwise) and without the oversight of an ethics review board that might otherwise be charged with safeguarding the public? And what to make of the absence of the Precautionary Principle typically unfurled before our self-styled public health advocates march us out to face nature's cannons? Apparently "caring" means never having to say you're sorry.

But should Uncle Sam have to say he's sorry and pay for the tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths that would occur annually if the findings of these new studies are indeed predictive of what would happen if low-salt diets were forced upon (nudged upon) the entire unwitting populace? If the asbestos story is any indication then the food and beverage industry needs to prepare to be thrown under the bus at the earliest sign that the central low-salt diet plan has not survived first contact with the Law of Unintended Consequences. Because that's exactly what the government that stockpiled asbestos and specified its use did to those whom it directed to stockpile and produce it when asbestos hit the fan nearly 40 years ago.

More on that, plus an old depo of a government witness or two, later.

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