NYC Mayor Bloomberg's great salt experiment

Salt is evil. At least, that's the between-the-lines theory behind the New York City Health Department's new experiment, backed by mayor Michael Bloomberg and health commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, in which chefs and food manufacturers are being asked to "voluntarily" cut sodium levels. "Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Health Department have launched a nationwide effort to prevent heart attacks and strokes by reducing the salt levels in processed and restaurant foods," says the web site.

The problem with that theory, says the New York Times' John Tierney, is that science doesn't back it up. In fact, science -- the latest research -- says exactly the opposite, that salt is good for both your physical and emotional health. A recent clinical trial put heart patients on two diets, one restricted sodium levels by a third, the other with normal sodium levels. The normal-sodium group did better. What's more, another recent study showed depression triggers in rats with salt deprivation. And the problem with the theory is that it's a theory; making New Yorkers (and, if Bloomberg and Frieden are successful, the entire U.S.) subjects of a great and foolhardy experiment.