On January 31, 2011, the federal government released its new Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Updated every five years, the guidelines are supposed to provide authoritative advice to promote health and reduce the risk of diet-related diseases. Unfortunately, the guidelines may have significant negative health consequences.
The new guidelines recommend daily sodium intake of less than 2,300 mg and 1,500 mg among persons who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.
This ignores or overlooks recent research that points to obesity, not salt, as the main culprit in rising blood pressure rates. Many nutritionists predict the guidelines will worsen,not improve, the obesity crisis because people will consume more calories to satisfy their innate salt appetite.
What’s more, dramatically decreasing sodium can be dangerous. A recent Harvard study links low-salt diets to an immediate increase in insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 Diabetes.
“These guidelines are a classic example of ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ by the federal food police,” said Lori Roman, president of the Salt Institute, which represents the salt industry. “While increasing obesity and hypertension rates are health concerns we can all share, it’s simplistic and dangerous to attribute them to salt, an essential nutrient.”
Read the letter sent to Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Sebelius by Lori Roman respectfully requesting the withdrawal of the sodium provisions and all of the documents related to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.