UK health officials lighten salt reduction efforts

The Department of Health is scaling back salt reduction targets set to be issued for a wide range of foods, including meat, bread, cereals and cheese. Efforts to change consumers’ palates, it seems, are running into problems as food producers find they’ve “reached the limits of what is possible.” 

Department of Health admits defeat on ‘confusing’ salt reduction targets

The government has dropped one of the key promises made as part of its 2013 salt reduction strategy, after admitting a plan to re-educate consumer palates by setting tough targets for all new products had been too ambitious… Read more.

As research led by Dr. McCarron at UC Davis reported last month, the popular notion that people can change their taste buds and lower their salt intake — or that government guidelines can result in lower salt intake among populations — makes little sense. Sodium intake across 45 countries for more than five decades, despite variations in ethnicities and dietary practices, has been remarkably stable and is determined by physiological needs, rather than environmental factors, they found. Nevertheless, they said, increasingly restrictive guidelines issued by health officials have occurred against the backdrop of key critical facts including:

1. No consistent data had appeared in the scientific literature specifically demonstrating that lower sodium intake was associated with a reduction in either all-cause or CVD mortality.

2. An increasing number of consumer food products were reduced in their sodium content in response to the government’s effort directed at lowering the sodium intake.

3. There was no evidence that sodium intake was declining in the United States.

4. Basic research, particularly in the neurosciences, indicated that vertebrate sodium intake was a physiologically determined parameter….Read more.

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6 responses to “UK health officials lighten salt reduction efforts

  1. Slowing down the nanny-bullies reminds me of a joke:
    Fellow does a boulevard stop and officer pulls him over. He says, “No, I didn’t stop, but I slowed way down.” Officer begins smacking him on the arm with nightstick, pauses and says, “Okay, do you want me to slow way down or do you want me to stop?”
    I want the nanny-bullies (and the greasing-the-slide socialists) to stop, not just slow down.
    I know turning the ship of state off its socialist course has to be done slowly but the nanny-bullies can stop right now. They won’t.

  2. A lot of medical, and related, ‘science’ is a worry. So often what was claimed turns out wrong or of approaching minuscule importance.
    There was a similar salt study over 2 years ago –

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/wellbeing/5244794/Health-tips-with-a-grain-of-salt

    I like this explanation to do with eggs in diet-
    “I’ve heard that eating too many eggs can raise your cholesterol – how many can I eat?
    The recommendation on how many eggs you can eat has changed over the years and is a common source of confusion. In the past we recommended a restriction on eggs because we thought that foods high in cholesterol (including liver, kidneys and shellfish, as well as eggs) could have an impact on cholesterol levels.
    However, as research in this area has developed so has our understanding of how foods that contain cholesterol affect people’s heart health. This means we have changed our recommendation and there is currently no limit on the number of eggs that can be eaten in a week.”

    http://heart-matters.net/How-To-Prevent-Heart-Disease.php

    • Cholesterol in food has little effect on your serum cholesterol. In fact it is probably the vegetable oils from fake sources, which are causing most of the problem. Research is now indicating that what really lowers cholesterol is animal fats and stearic acid.

      It will turn out like the movie Sleeper where in the future they discover smoking is actually good for you.

      HERE. YOU SMOKE THIS, AND BE SURE YOU GET THE SMOKE DEEP DOWN INTO YOUR LUNGS.

      I DON’T SMOKE. IT’S TOBACCO.

      IT’S ONE OF THE HEALTHIEST THINGS FOR YOUR BODY. NOW GO AHEAD. YOU NEED ALL THE STRENGTH YOU CAN GET.

  3. Seems like all the “healthy” nutrition pronouncements a quite mutable. Just wait for the next study and what everyone knows has changed. Dietary sodium has had one of the longer runs of conventional wisdom without much in the way of real life data to back it up. That sure doesn’t seem to affect the food nannies

  4. It is always amazing/amusing to watch how a simple context-free ‘factoid’ gleaned from a ‘study’ with dubious methodology and severly limited supporting work can motivate some people to activism that seeks to control what everyone else does – for their own good, of course. Salt consumption is the classic case.
    For most of human history salt was a precious commodity (literally worth its weight in gold), available only to the wealthy and those blessed with living in a favored location. The peasants had to suffer for their entire lives with chronic hyponatremia.
    The answer is simple, if salt tastes good or makes your food taste good, you probably need it. If it doesn’t taste good, you probably don’t need it.
    I suspect that the salt residue in dried perspiration is part of the body’s natural immune protection against dermal infections, especially by fungi and yeast.

  5. If the UK has the same type of Food Nannies we do, I am surprised they are still allowed fish, chips, bangers and mash and a thousand other overcooked, greasy (and tasty) dishes.

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