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US: Health Commish takes war on salt nationwide calling for nutrition database

12/7/11  www.nydailynews.com

By Kathleen Lucadamo,

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas  Farley is advocating for a nationwide database for food salt content.

Mariela Lombard for News

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley is advocating for a nationwide database for food salt content.

The city’s health boss is taking his anti-salt crusade national amid new research that found sodium doesn’t cause killer heart disease – but is linked to higher death rates.

Health Commissioner Thomas Farley issued a call yesterday for a nationwide database where consumers can check the salt content – and other nutritional makeup – of all foods.

He said reducing sodium intake will cut your risk of dying, pointing to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers shot down a theory that salt alone can ruin a ticker.

But the study of 12,267 people did find people with high sodium and low potassium in their diet were at an increased risk for death.

When salt is added to packaged food, potassium is often reduced – a dangerous combination because salt can spike blood pressure and potassium reduces it, said Elena Kuklina of theCenters for Disease Control, which did the research.

Her team also discovered that people who consumed a lot of salt were up to 73% more likely to die from all causes – though that included car accidents.

“This article strengthens the already compelling evidence of the relationship between sodium intake and mortality,” Farley wrote in a commentary that accompanied the study.

He said food makers should be required to put potassium counts on products.

 

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