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October 1, 1997

Separating Wheat From Chaff of Nutrition Information

JAMA. 1997;278(13):1052-1053. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550130018007

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TO HELP health reporters separate the wheat from the chaff of nutrition information, the American Heart Association (AHA) served a hearty helping of nutrition science at its 24th Health and Science Journalists Forum in Seattle, Wash. And to give them a taste of the difficulties of translating the latest research findings into dietary guidelines, one authority explained why Americans need to reduce their high salt consumption while another explained why they don't.

Saline Solution?  "Based on all the available experimental, epidemiologic, and clinical evidence, it seems prudent to include avoidance of a high salt intake as one component of a population-based, comprehensive nutritional strategy for the prevention of cardiovascular disease," said Theodore A. Kotchen, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee."New clinical trials call into question the benefits of salt restriction, in comparison with other dietary interventions—calorie restriction