Remember the old food pyramid? The one that encouraged all Americans to eat a diet heavy in carbohydrates? I do. The federal government got it ass backwards, and then guys like NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg went nuts trying to control the will of entire city populations. Now the CDC gives us another example why we should not take general consensus among scientists as a green light to start regulating the food you eat, down to the number of grams of salt you consume each day. It turns out that your body needs salt — something sane people, who don’t live to become government bureaucrats, have known for quite some time.


A recent report commissioned by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed the health benefits of reducing salt intake and the take-home message is that salt, in the quantities consumed by most Americans, is no longer considered a substantial health hazard. What the CDC study reported explicitly is that there is no benefit, and may be a danger, from reducing our salt intake below 1 tsp per day. What was absent about the report was is the difference between healthy mineral salts and iodized table salt.

It may be that we’re better off with more salt than less, up to 2 or even 3 tsp per day. How did it happen that such standard medical advice drifted astray, then went un-corrected for so long?

This review by the National Academies Institute of Medicine (IOM), commissioned by CDC, considered dozens of studies, from cross-cultural (less reliable) to prospective, randomized with control (most reliable). Most studies showed no relationship between salt intake and any health outcome. Some seemed to indicate that more salt had a beneficial effect.

Hotair’s Mary Katherine Ham nails it:

As with so many bad public health ideas, the idea of cutting salt found its national footing thanks to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose primary public service as head of the largest city in America has been to ban and discourage as many delicious foods as possible. In 2009, Bloomberg started the National Salt Reduction Initiative, led by the New York City health department in an effort to push major food companies into “voluntary” lower-sodium standards. The goal was to reduce sodium intake by 25 percent.

There was push-back on the initiative from the scientific community here and there, but that didn’t stop Bloomberg’s strong-arming quest. …

Bloomberg, in concert with the American Heart Association and other alarmists, got more than 20 food companies to cut their sodium in February.

The federal government, its scientists and the media might as well just consolidate and work under a new name: “The Fear Factory.” Every day researchers find new ways to get you paranoid. Some new food gives you cancer while a previous item thought to be dangerous is taken off the list.

Newsflash: On a long enough timeline we will all get cancer. Instead of freaking out about it or trying to control the behavior of hundreds of millions of free Americans, a better option is to live a healthy lifestyle, find a way to exude love and kindness wherever you go, use common sense and ultimately come to terms with death.

And if you don’t? Then you can continue to let guys like Brian Williams scare you about prostate cancer, which might (or might not) happen if you take supplements daily. “Someone get Michael Bloomberg on the phone, pronto! We need to curb the amount of omega-3 fatty acids people can buy.”

The talking heads are now worried about fish oil, which means politicians will seek to control its use. Ten years from now they'll conclude otherwise, but the regulations will stay in place. Do you really want to live you life in fear? Turn off your television and get out more.
The talking heads are now worried about fish oil, which means politicians will seek to control its use. Ten years from now they’ll conclude otherwise, but the regulations will stay in place. Do you really want to live your life in fear? Turn off your television and get out with your loved ones more often.

I would argue that living in anger and fear is much more likely to give you weird health problems than fish oil. If you watch television daily you’re exposed to programming geared towards pitting you against your fellow man. Watch the “news” too much, and it’s a good bet you’re irrationally living in fear over any number of things, from sodium consumption to what your neighbor will think of you if you don’t buy the newest cell phone on the market. Turn off the television more frequently. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you.


  1. Even apart from its leftist bias, one of the worst traits of the media is its melodramatic conclusion-jumping. Most scientific studies draw tentative conclusions and call for future studies. Yet the media often reports conclusions in stark terms, and the public ends up demonizing some substance or another.

    1. I would definitely agree with you on that. I think ultimately we really just have that one trait of the human condition that we’ll never be able to fully eradicate: greed.

      1. Media want ratings (i.e., fame). They’ll latch onto anything sensational that will get them ratings.
      2. Politicians want power. They’ll latch onto anything that can be used as a pretext for yet another power grab.
      3. Scientists want more resources (i.e., money) for their research. They’ll always give themselves an “out” in their final conclusions, but their press releases and the overviews often leaves the bread crumbs media is looking for. If their work gets wide exposure, they government will see to it that they’ll keep getting grants, etc.
      4. People want excuses. They often want to cede power and responsibility for their lives to someone else. I’m probably not articulating it right because I haven’t had time to adequately put my thoughts together, but I think there’s also a kind of greed that goes with collecting excuses for why our life hasn’t turned out a certain way.

  2. NRESFLASH: Scientists have determined that saliva, ingested in small quantities over many years, eventually causes death. Details at 11 …

    “When news breaks out, the newsroom breaks down.”

    1. I was originally going to write on the fish oil scare (I take it daily), but the salt backtracking was too good.

      There are many different kinds of fish oil. What were these people taking? Where did the fish oil come from? How old were they? Were they all the same race? Were they free from other diseases when they began taking fish oil? Did they exercise regularly? What were their diets like? The questions go on and on, and yet most reports were essentially just different versions of “Fish oil could give you cancer! Noooo!”

    1. Heheh.. tv’s not the only ones sucked into the maelstrom of pranksters, who, obviously are smarter than the average reporter …

      “…USA Today pranked with a fake name after Zimmerman verdict

      Apparently reporters aren’t learning from KTVU’s embarrassing phony-name pratfall. Another prankster was hard at work in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman murder trial in Sanford, Fla., where the media was trawling for reaction outside the courthouse. One resident happily told USA Today the not-guilty verdict meant that “justice was rendered. That’s why we have trials instead of public opinion.” The speaker? None other than noted jurisprudence expert Howie Felterbush, who’s probably a cousin of Hugh Janus. Interestingly, Howie wouldn’t let himself be interviewed on video, saying he was uncomfortable with the “state of things.” Like perhaps his name.”

  3. Sometimes the headlines just write themselves. 🙂
    “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story” — Dan Rather

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