The New York Times Has Lowered Its Standards With This Health Column

The sun peeks over the New York Times Building in New York Aug. 14, 2013.

I know that the Internet era has meant hard times for newspapers but I didn’t think I’d ever see the day that The New York Timeswould lower its standards and resort to what is essentially tabloid journalism.

I’m referring to a recent opinion column titled “Relax, You Don’t Need to ‘Eat Clean'” that appeared in the Times exhorting people to stop worrying about what’s in their diet and to basically eat whatever they want.

In this case, the author was not an expert in any field related to his chosen subject. Rather, he was identified as Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Professor Carroll’s shaky thesis is that we consumers have become overly concerned with the contents of our food and thereby taken the pleasure out of eating. He purports to knock down as false or overblown concerns some of us have with salt, fat, gluten, MSG and GMO foods.

As for salt intake, Professor Carroll’s advice borders on the negligent. He suggests that the average consumer’s daily intake of “just over” three grams of sodium hits the “sweet spot” for health.

After conducting “extensive” research with Dr. Google, I learned that the average daily salt intake is not “just over” three grams but actually closer to three-and-a-half grams. More importantly, Dr. Google informed me that the American Heart Association recommends a maximum of one-and-a-half grams per day.

As for salt intake, Professor Carroll’s advice borders on the negligent.

Even if we adopt the higher maximum of 2.3 grams recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that is still a far cry from 3.5 grams. More importantly, given that the average is 3.5 grams, millions of consumers are ingesting far greater amounts, amounts that put those with already-elevated blood pressure at risk of increasing it, which can result in cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Carroll goes on to give the green light to daily bacon consumption, indicating that such a diet would only increase one’s absolute risk of colon cancer by less than one-half of one per cent. His observations, however, fail to take into account the other risks entailed in eating processed meats, including the ingestion of a laundry list of unpronounceable chemicals and even more salt.

Carroll also makes passing reference to fats, which he says were once demonized. What he fails to note is …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel


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