Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Salt: Global National confuses Canadians Even More.

A Global National news story just may have confused Canadians on how to reduce their salt intake. Some background: A study from Stats Canada came out today stating that Canadians are eating too much salt for their own good.

This is something that we all should be paying attention to because increased salt intake has been linked to increased blood pressure (hypertension) which can also lead to numerous other serious conditions including among others, stroke and kidney disease. The recommended amount of salt intake for an adult is 2300 mg per day but the study found that the Canadian average in 2004 was closer to 3100 mg or almost 1/3 more than the maximum recommended intake! High salt (sodium) intake is a very serious problem to be sure, but the solutions are so simple that with just a little education Canadians can easily reduce their sodium intake and by dong so greatly reduce their risks for hypertension related diseases.

Education is the key but earlier tonight on Global National a story on the study may just have confused more people than it helped. Watch the segment here (under Tuesday Apr 10th. Note link will only be active for 1 week). While you watch the segment listen for when Hannah Bourdreau says the following "Health experts say read the label. If salt is listed in the first four ingredients, that means there is too much; so pick something else." and pay close attention to what he video shows while this is being spoken. Below is a screen shot of what has me concerned.

Did you notice anything wrong? I know some of you have figured it out but I am guessing that many if not most of you have no idea as to what my beef is with this story.

Hannah talks about ingredients yet the video is not showing the ingredients list but instead is showing the nutritional information. Call it nit picking, but if you are supposed to not eat anything with sodium listed in the top four ingredients and you look to the nutritional label as replacement for the ingredients list; you are going to either give up even trying to reduce your sodium intake or die of starvation because sodium, by law, is almost always listed forth from the top. I looked all over the house tonight to find a nutritional label that did not list sodium (give it a try yourself) in the top 4 but was not able to find even 1 item that qualified, or in fact one that contained 0 mg of salt.

Overall the story was well done and covered the basic points, but due to a short 10 second bit of video, the message and the concept as to just how easy it is to reduce your sodium intake may have been lost entirely to numerous people. In a country where many already find nutritional information labels confusing, poor editing of news stories is certainly not going to help out the situation.


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