With New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg locked in battle over banning sugary drinks over 16oz, a new study has identified salty foods as the real killer in America - especially among those under the age of 70.
The same research team that last week blamed sugar in soft drinks for 25,000 deaths a year in the U.S. has this week linked excessive salt consumption to nearly 2.3 million million cardiovascular deaths worldwide in 2010.
Staggeringly, the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston discovered that one in 10 Americans dies from eating too much salt - almost 250,000 a year and ten times as many as caused by sugary drinks.
Salt and sodium intake among Americans could be the cause of 1 in 10 deaths a new study from Harvard has found
'The burden of sodium is much higher than the burden of sugar-sweetened beverages,' said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health and author of both the salt and sugary drink studies.
'That’s because sugar-sweetened beverages are just one type of food that people can avoid, whereas sodium is in everything.'
Dr. Mozaffarian collected their data from 247 surveys on sodium consumption and then 107 clinical trials that measured salt's affect on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
'From that we could determine the health effects of sodium,' he said to ABC News.
Salt has been linked to more deaths than sugary drinks - which the same Harvard research team blamed for the deaths of 25,000 people a year in the U.S. alone in 2010
He added one in three deaths caused by excessive sodium occurred before age 70. 'It’s really affecting younger adults, not just the elderly.'
The study was presented today at the American Heart Association's annual get-together in New Orleans and added weight to what is mounting evidence that packaged and processed foods have dangerous salt levels.
Mozaffarian said to ABC News he was amazed how easy it was to consume these foods and said the only alternative he saw was to cook everything from scratch - which many people do not find the time for.
However, the Salt Institute did not agree with Mozaffarian's findings as he set the ideal level of salt consumption at 1,000 milligrams per day.
Sugar high: Sugary drinks aren't just fattening - they're deadly, according to a new study that links roughly 180,000 deaths annually worldwide to the beverages
That is half the upper limit recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
'This misleading study did not measure any actual cardiovascular deaths related to salt intake, since, by the authors’ own admission, no country anywhere in the world consumes the low levels of salt they recommend,' Morton Satin, vice president of science and research for the Virginia-based institute said in a statement to ABC News.
Mozaffarian’s research will be published after peer review later this year.
'This is not sensational. The point is to objectively look at the impact of salt using the best possible science, and that’s what we have done.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297337/Salt-pre-meals-blamed-deaths-1-10-Americans--times-sugary-drinks.html#ixzz2OHf7rYj3
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