Advocate: Take ‘Times’ Coverage Of Sodium Report With Grain Of Salt

The New York Times‘ coverage of the ‘How much salt is too much salt?’ debate got a thrashing in a Huffington Post column yesterday by the head of a nonprofit health and nutrition advocacy group.

In the column, Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, writes that the Times “bungles” the sodium report in an article and editorial and “misrepresented the findings of a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

salt (/Flickr)

salt (/Flickr)

Jacobson writes that the Times “never told readers that the IOM found insufficient evidence that very-low-sodium diets are risky” and it “failed to inform readers that few Americans consume very-low-sodium diets.” Moreover, he writes:

“The Times imperiled its readers’ health by implying that all advice to cut salt is wrong.

“The panel did not conclude that the average intake of 3,400 milligrams a day is necessarily risky,” said the Times editorial. Of course, it didn’t. The IOM wasn’t asked to examine the risks and benefits of our current sodium intakes. Previous IOM committees concluded that they are harmful. The IOM was asked to look at the effects of intakes in the 1,500 mg to 2,300 mg range. Continue reading