Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Dietary Guidelines

City Journal: Egg on Their Faces: "More and more, the history of dietary guidelines that our public-health authorities promulgate resembles the Woody Allen comedy Sleeper, in which the main character, awaking from a centuries-long slumber, learns that every food we once thought bad for us is actually good, starting with steak and chocolate. But you wouldn’t know that from government experts’ increasing efforts to nudge us into their approved diets. In 2006, New York City passed the nation’s first ban on the use of trans fats by restaurants, and other cities followed suit, though trans fats constitute just 2 percent of Americans’ caloric intake. Now the Bloomberg administration is trying to push food manufacturers nationwide to reduce their use of salt—and the nutrition panel advising the FDA on the new guidelines similarly recommends reducing salt intake to a maximum of 1,500 milligrams daily (down from 2,300 a day previously). Yet Dr. Michael Alderman, a hypertension specialist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, observed in the New York Times that because sodium is an essential component of our diets, the city’s effort amounts to a giant uncontrolled experiment with the public’s health that could have unintended consequences. And in 2006, Harvard Medical School professor Norman Hollenberg concluded that while some people benefit from reduced salt intake, the evidence “is too inconsistent and generally too small to mandate policy decisions at the community level.”"

Traveling from eggs and cholesterol intake to the saturated fat fears of recent years, the next station in the distance is salt. With the blanket assumption that sodium is bad for the body, we are going to have the sad state of affairs where our government attempts to tailor our dietary behaviors.

Yes, its been going on for years. That doesn't make it right, nor healthy. This piece is a great showcase of how overly aggressive comprehensive government policy has been damaging to the health of the nation over years past.


Solameanie said...

Remind me to put up a salt lick in my back yard. I'll take a swipe at it after mowing the yard just to provoke the diet police.

As an aside, the Genesis song "Living Forever" comes to mind. It's aimed at the diet police and other hand-wringers.

Palm boy said...

Personally, I prefer my salt lick sans grass clippings.