Tuesday, January 1, 2013

City's salt war "misguided"

From the NY Post:

City health czar Dr. Thomas Farley is warring with a noted scientist over sodium in the same medical journal where Farley trumpeted the city’s war on salt.

“We cannot extrapolate that lowering sodium consumption would reduce cardiovascular risk or premature death,” declared Dr. Sean C. Lucan of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in this month’s American Journal of Public Health.

“Despite assertions to the contrary,” Lucan wrote — citing an anti-salt screed by Farley and a colleague from September — “we do not know that reducing mean population sodium intake would decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease or save lives.”

Lucan told The Post the city’s salt war is “misguided” — and potentially dangerous.

“We can’t just swallow this as fact — there’s actually debate about this.

“My concern is that they’re focusing on a single ingredient that the food industry is going to have to replace with something — and what they replace it with might be more damaging,” he added.

Higher sodium intake has been shown in some studies to increase blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

But that’s only part of the story, Lucan said.

“There is a relationship between sodium and blood pressure, but it’s not consistent. And even when it’s present, it isn’t clinically very substantial,” he said.

For some high-risk heart patients, some studies show, a low-salt diet “actually leads to worse cardiovascular disease and early death,” Lucan said.

Lowering salt, Lucan notes in his article, “may also decrease insulin sensitivity, alter lipids, and stimulate a variety of neurohormonal pathways detrimental to the cardiovascular system.”

Sodium is simply a marker of unhealthy food, Lucan said, adding that the real target should be refined carbohydrates and highly processed foods — and the city’s war on that front also falls short.

“Refined carbohydrates are a greater enemy,” he warned in the journal. “If sugar-sweetened beverages are a public-health problem, then why aren’t sugar-laden cookies?”


Jon Torodash said...

The NY Times did a spot on what this killjoy, an open agent of the NYC nanny state:

"[Dr. Farley] wants New Yorkers to quit smoking in parks and beaches, take the stairs, cut the salt, lose weight, swear off sugary drinks, have safe sex and drink less alcohol; and he advocates legislation, taxes and industry regulation to help them do it."


(And he professed it himself a month earlier, anyway:)


Must be nice to have a $205,000-a-year job where you can stroll into the office pretty much any time you please after those leisurely runs in central park, eh doc?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lucan for NYC health czar!

Enough of the hypocritical propaganda! If the DOH wants to advocate for something, it should be for moderation in all things, not a targeted campaign against soda, salt, and trans fat (not all trans fat is unhealthy, you know). The city should concentrate on incentivizing. Maybe a subsidy or tax credit for gym or recreation memberships for those with a low-income?

Popeye said...

Take it from an old salt..
hizzoner, Mayor BLOOM-BRA, has got his tits in a wringer over too many things that AREN'T his G-damn business!

What's life without a good dose of sugar 'n salt?


Anonymous said...

And our crooked politicians have salted away thousands and thousands of untraceable kickback $$$$$ from the NYC real estate industry in offshore bank accounts!

And who the fuck is on the case to clean up their dirty acts?

Anonymous said...

Can we just pack Broombug in salt and send him somewhere, like outer space?

Anonymous said...

I'd pickle Bloombastard in vinegar,
if hizzoner's brain isn't pickled already.