The Food and Drug Administration is planning to limit the amount of salt in processed foods, after a government panel said that high salt levels could provoke a "public health crisis." A report released on Tuesday said Americans are consuming "dangerous levels of sodium," causing high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease, and suggested the food industry is either can't or won't regulate itself. Is it time for the government step in to oversee the salt content in food? (Watch a CBS report about potential regulations on salt)
The "nanny state" should stay out of our affairs: This sets an "ominous" precedent, says Bruce Walker in the New American. If the federal regulators think they must determine "what is best for our health," will they ban alcohol? Or legislate "the amount of exercise we engage in"? Low salt products are already available for people who want to cut down their intake. This "Big Brother" government should back off and leave the rest of us alone.
"Big Brother and the salt fix"
But someone has to make industry listen: Even if the government banned salt shakers, "we'd still be getting way too much salt in our diet," says Eleanor Clift at Newsweek. Because sodium is "pumped into processed food and restaurant meals," Americans eat as much as three times the recommended amount a day, say doctors. Even "breakfast cereal" is laden with salt. The FDA must "put some teeth" into doctor's recommendations and take action, fast.
"The FDA and the dilemma of salt"
You'll never even notice the change — proving it's a good idea: What's the big deal, says Megan Bedard at Takepart.com. If the FDA cracks down on salt, "you won't taste the difference." Sodium levels will be reduced over a 10 year period to allow a "sodium-prone generation [to] adjust their palates." And this isn't a government takeover — it's just putting an "appropriate and fair process in place" to help people live longer. It may sound scary, but trust me: "Your heart will thank you for it."
"FDA says less salt means healthier hearts"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 10 things you need to know today: October 30, 2014
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- Sorry, we will not all be having sex with robots in the future
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- For Democrats, the right lesson from 2014 is to be more liberal
- How to live a long life, according to science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How the brides of ISIS are attracting Western women
Subscribe to the Week