Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Express and salt (cont.)

Thursday's Express serves up another 'miracle cure' front page story:

This is not the same 'cure for high blood pressure' that the Express announced on 18 December 2012. It's different from the one from 1 November 2011, too.

Today, 'five easy steps' to 'curing high blood pressure' are revealed by Jo Willey:

Keeping active, slashing salt intake, eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, cutting down on alcohol and not smoking all cut the chances of developing the deadly condition.

Most of these are rather obvious things that pop up frequently in 'secrets of a longer life'-type stories on the front of the Express.

But the inclusion of 'slashing salt intake' is interesting because in July 2011, one paper said:

cutting our daily intake [of salt] does nothing to lower the risk of suffering from heart disease


a study...shows although blood pressure reduced when salt intake was cut, this had no long-term health benefits.

The quote from the leader of the study pointing out it wasn't quite as simple as that was left until nearer the end of the article

“We believe that we didn’t see big benefits in this study because the people in the trials we analysed only reduced their salt intake by a moderate amount, so the effect on blood pressure and heart disease was not large.”

And all this appeared under the headline:

'Now salt is safe to eat: Health fascists proved wrong after lecturing us all for years'

Which paper? The Express, of course:

The article under that silly headline was also written by Jo Willey and it included this:

Earlier this year the Daily Express revealed how “nanny state” council bosses at Stockport Council banned salt shakers in fish and chip shops as part of a healthy living drive. But critics condemned the move, insisting customers should be free to make up their own minds.

While that is indeed what the Express claimed in a front page story ('Salt banned in chip shops'), it was not true

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