Time to End the War Against Salt
For decades, policy makers have tried and failed to get Americans to eat less salt but the drive has little basis in science. For the effort, all we may get is bland french fries.
What's the Latest Development?
The war against salt is long underway by government forces. Recently the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, convinced 16 companies to voluntarily regulate the amount of salt in their food products. Yet the health benefits of reduced salt intake are not well established. "This week a meta-analysis of seven studies involving a total of 6,250 subjects in theAmerican Journal of Hypertension found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death in people with normal or high blood pressure."
What's the Big Idea?
One reason that scientific research has had difficulty correlating salt intake with specific health problems is that individuals often respond very differently to changes in the amount of sodium in their diet. "Rather than create drastic salt policies based on conflicting data, researchers propose that the government sponsor a large, controlled clinical trial to see what happens to people who follow low-salt diets over time. ... "A great number of promises are being made to the public with regard to this enormous benefit and lives saved," says one researcher. But it is "based on wild extrapolations."
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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