You mean one gramme then?

US children eat 1,000 milligrams too much salt
US children eat as much salt as adults, which is about 1,000 milligrams too much, the equivalent of a McDonald\’s Big Mac hamburger or rasher or bacon, new research has found.

17 thoughts on “You mean one gramme then?”

  1. “The loons do it all the time.”

    Dr Eoin Clarke always likes writing out sums the nasty Tories are wasting on privatising the NHS to two decimal places.

    Thus a £300m privatised outsourcing contract becomes: £300,000,000.00

    To misquote Miss Jean Brodie: “He thinks to intimidate us by the use of decimal places?”

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    The usual bullsh!t from the usual suspects:

    It was also discovered that 15 per cent of participants had either high blood pressure or slightly elevated blood pressure – prehypertension.

    Notice the dishonest conflation of people with high blood pressure and people with slightly elevated blood pressure. No useful study can possibly fail to separate the two groups.

    Children who ate the highest amount of salt were twice as likely to suffer from prehypertension compared to consumers with a lower salt intake.

    Correlation is not causation. Is there some other factor that may go with both “prehypertension” (remembering this is merely slightly elevated blood pressure) and a higher salt intake? Well, we see in the very next paragraph ….

    Researchers also found that the risk among overweight or obese children was more than three times as likely to suffer from elevated blood pressure.

    Well no sh!t Sherlock. Fat children are more likely to suffer elevated – whatever that means – blood pressure. They are, after all, fat. Obese in some cases. And they are *three* *times* more likely to have slight highly blood pressure. You know what else goes with being a lard arse? Eating more food. You know what comes with more food? More salt. Doesn’t mean the salt is causing the blood pressure problem.

    It looks to me a damn good case could be made that eating more salt reduces your chances of having slightly higher blood pressure. After all, those with a higher salt intake are only twice as likely to have slightly increased blood pressure and given all those tubby couch potatoes are unlikely to be eating healthy food, it seems salt may be doing them some good.

  3. SMFS: The researchers thought of that.

    Our baseline covariates include age, gender, race-ethnicity, table salt use (never/rarely, sometimes, or often), and BMI calculated as kilograms of weight divided by meters of height

    No doubt your next comment will be a humble apology.

  4. @ PaulB we all know the BMI measure is a load of shit, I have a BMI of 30+ and have had for years, didn’t stop me completing the London Triathlon in under 3 hours in 2001 and the Roma marathon a coupe of years later in 4 1/2 hrs – not great admittedly but not bad for someone as medically obese as I am

  5. I had a quick look at the pdf. The results section is a confusion of different p numbers, a reliable indicator of a junk study. However this bit leapt out at me. The fatties eat less salt it seems. Salt keeps you slim, who knew. Go salt.

    US children and adolescents aged 8 to
    18 years consumed, on average, 3387
    mg per day of sodium, and average
    sodium intake increased with age.
    Consumption was higher among male
    than among female subjects, higher
    among those of normal weight than
    among those overweight/obese

  6. cb: True, BMI doesn’t measure fatness as well as body fat percentage does, but it’s sufficient to overcome SMFS’s ill-informed objection. In any case, the paper offers an alternative model using calorie intake as a factor instead, and gets a closely similar result.

    IR: There’s nothing confusing about the results section. Yes, there’s a lot of information there, but there’s no lack of clarity.

    You make an interesting point about salt consumption. If you look at Table 1 you’ll see that the overweight and obese are eating fewer calories too, in about the same proportion as they eat less salt. Both numbers are obtained by calculations on daily reports from subjects of what they’ve eaten. I see two possibilities: one is that overweight and obese people are more likely to be on a calorie-restricted diet, and consume less salt in consequence, and the other is that they’re more likely to lie about how much they eat. My guess is that the latter explanation is the one to concentrate on.

    So no, salt doesn’t keep you slim. Being fat makes you lie about how much salt you eat.

    A more robust study would measure what people ate rather than asking them, but this is difficult to do in a large scale – it’s a general problem for studies looking at the long-term effects of food choices. I can’t see any major biases in this study, and I’d expect its results to hold up.

  7. @PaulB translation: it’s a study based on a faulty methodology where a lot of the participants lied, but I’ll believe because it confirms my prejudices.

  8. Any methodology that relies on BMI is intrinsically flawed. Volume and hence body mass and weight should be proportional to the *cube* not the square of the height. Secondly some people are broader than others so they should weigh more if carrying the same amount of fat – in my first year at university I trained with a guy who was an inch or two shorter and sweated down to just bone and muscle weighed nearly three stone more than I.

  9. PaulB – “No doubt your next comment will be a humble apology.”

    It would be if there was some proof they were doing it properly. You assume that because they looked at all sort of covariates, they are reporting their findings appropriately?

    6 dearieme – ““race-ethnicity”: what’s a social construct got to do with anything?”

    It is a Quantum Social Construct. It isn’t real when you don’t want it to be, and then it is when you do want it to be.

    8 Ian Reid – “The fatties eat less salt it seems. Salt keeps you slim, who knew. Go salt.”

    Interesting. I suspect PaulB is right and their data is not only crap but they must know it is crap, however I do note that tobacco companies liked low-whatever cigarettes because people smoked more of them. If people need or want a certain amount of salt or sugar or whatever it is, they may eat until they get it. Taking on more carbs than is good for them.

    10 PaulB – “True, BMI doesn’t measure fatness as well as body fat percentage does, but it’s sufficient to overcome SMFS’s ill-informed objection.”

    No it does not. Whether they properly controlled for fatness might. But you have no evidence they did.

    “So no, salt doesn’t keep you slim. Being fat makes you lie about how much salt you eat.”

    And there you go – the entire study, as I said, is bullsh!t. Gigo.

    As they must have known. They published anyway.

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