Is Salt a Public Health Danger?

Last year, the government’s Institute of Medicine urged the Food and Drug Administration to “gradually step down the maximum amount of salt that can be added to foods, beverages and meals.” The FDA is listening. In September, it published a notice concerning issues “associated with the development of targets for sodium reduction in foods to promote reduction of excess sodium intake.”

[Yet] “For every study that suggests that salt is unhealthy, another does not,” an article this year in Scientific American noted.

Full article by Steve Chapman on salt consumption regulation. See our previous posts here, here and here.

Comments (4)

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  1. Sarah Onach says:

    Reminds one of the studies about rats and artificial sweeteners. Mankind has gustatorially lusted for salt since before recorded time. Anything in moderation, especially salt, isn’t harmful; and that ignores its curative powers. Pass the salt, please; and pass on the salt research.

  2. Brian says:

    I’m almost torn on this issue, since I loathe TV dinner-producing companies that load their products up with salt. On the other hand, the FDA is waaaay too powerful.

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    Only certain people have a problem with salt. The notion that everyone should be urged to restrict salt is overkill.

  4. Joe Nathan says:

    I also hesitate on this issue, not because I’m concerned about the power of the FDA (though maybe I should?), but because I see a regulation in this area as a means of guiding consumers through the muddled research towards a conservative health decision. I say conservative not in the political sense, but in the sense that the FDA’s potential regulation in this area would be a conservative measure in terms of risk. The good is either bad for us or it’s indifferent – few studies speak to its health benefits. By limiting salt in food products, the FDA has essentially said “we’re unsure, but until we are, let’s not consume too much of this stuff eh?” I wish someone had thought this way 50 years ago about tobacoo . . .