The Times of Malta may want to salt its news reports with a few facts.
The paper reports:
A high intake of salt is detrimental to health because it causes high blood pressure, which, in turn, increases the risk of cardiovascular and renal diseases…
Although salt intake among the Maltese population is not known, the Health Interview Survey in 2008 found that the most common health condition was high blood pressure.
First, salt intake is not known to cause high blood pressure. In fact, as the Salt Institute’s Mort Satin has pointed out:
MYTH 8: There is a clear relationship between salt intake and blood pressure.
FACT: The lack of a clear relationship between salt intake and blood pressure is best exemplified with the standard hospital saline IV drip, which supplies an average of three liters of 0.9 percent sodium chloride per day. This is equivalent to twenty-seven grams of salt (4.5 teaspoons) per day while in the hospital in addition to the six grams (one teaspoon) of salt taken in food (if the Guidelines are followed). That is a total of thirty-three grams of salt per day or more than five times the Dietary Guideline recommendations! Yet patients’ BP is checked every four to six hours and does not change. Where is the purported relationship of salt intake to blood pressure?
And, of course, the error of attributing a disease without exposure data is an obvious show-stopper.