Saturday, April 24, 2010

Newsy: FDA Wants to Shake Out Salt

“A recent study estimates that up to 150,000 lives could be saved if Americans would just cut about a teaspoon of salt a day.”(CBS)
Americans consume more than double the recommended daily sodium intake. Now, the FDA wants to cut that down. Their plan, which would take about 10 years, will gradually set limits for the amount of salt allowed in commercial food products.
We’re looking at perspectives from CBS News, ABC News, Fox News, CNBC and the Washington Post.
ABC News says for most people, less salt means better health — And if America wants to be healthier, someone needs to regulate our intake: “Now we can control the stuff we use ourselves in salt shakers, but the processed food stuff is so hidden, and we don’t know what it is, and we don’t read the label — so, the only way we’re going to make a dent in this is to have these processed food makers either voluntarily do it or the government require them to do it.”
Fox News’ Sean Hannity says the initiative is just another example of “too much government.”: “You know, this drives me nuts. Government, get out of my life. Leave my french fries alone. Leave my chips alone. Leave my cheeseburgers alone. Leave my Philly cheesesteaks alone. Leave me alone! I don’t need the government to tell me what to eat.”
MeMe Roth is president of National Action Against Obesity. She told CNBC that most Americans don’t have to worry about losing that salty taste — And the potential health benefits of cutting salt are too great to ignore: “We could save 100,000 lives or more a year if we just reduce the salt intake. And very few people will even notice the change in taste — you have maybe a 20 percent decrease. You need a little salt to live, but it takes a lot of salt to kill us, and we are eating A LOT of salt.”
A representative from the Salt Institute told The Washington Post he doubts the science behind the salt strategy: “If you consume a lot of salt, you also get rid of a lot of salt — it doesn’t mean it’s an excess ... I want to make sure they’re basing this on everything that is in the scientific literature, so we don’t end up being guinea pigs because someone thinks they’re doing something good.”
So, what do you think? Should the FDA slowly shake the salt out of America’s diet? Or should government stay out of our meals?
Writer: Steven Hsieh

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