In 2010, Mayor Bloomberg declared war on salt. Why salt? Because it was easier than fulfilling his education promises, cutting the city’s debt or preparing for a major hurricane that would hit the city two years later.
And he’s still at it. Last March, he banned food donations to the homeless because their salt content couldn’t be assessed. He pushed for a 25% sodium reduction as part of a National Salt Reduction Initiative that he created. Despite the National title though, it is hosted on the city’s own Department of Health and Mental Hygiene site.
Meanwhile the salt wars are trending the other way.
In a report that undercuts years of public health warnings, a prestigious group convened by the government says there is no good reason based on health outcomes for many Americans to drive their sodium consumption down to the very low levels recommended in national dietary guidelines.
The new expert committee, commissioned by the Institute of Medicine at the behest of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there was no rationale for anyone to aim for sodium levels below 2,300 milligrams a day. The group examined new evidence that had emerged since the last such report was issued, in 2005.
And Bloomberg, the news site, rather than the crazy hamster of a politician, is reporting that salt reductions may even be bad for you.
U.S. dietary guidelines to reduce sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams a day for certain people aren’t supported by enough scientific evidence, an Institute of Medicine panel said today in a report. Studies reviewed by the panel didn’t prove health outcomes improved when salt consumption was cut to that level.
“Lowering sodium intake too much may actually increase a person’s risk of some health problems,” Brian Strom, the panel chairman and a public health professor at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, said in a statement.
On Twitter, Bloomberg was too busy pushing amnesty to make a reply. And offering an Earned Income Credit of 2,000 bucks to a pilot group earning less than $27,000. And he announced that next year’s budget will have a 2.2 billion dollar gap.
But who can take the time to think about that 2.2 billion dollar deficit when there’s salt wars to be won.