Category: Salt

Happy Meals make you unhappy? Not so fast…

So here is even more scientific research into the non-obvious consequences of eating junk food. As regular readers will know, we’ve recently heard of a couple of studies claiming that eating chocolate either (a) helps you lose weight or (b) helps you lose even more weight. Of course neither is true. Or at least neither study really enables such an inference to be drawn. Instead, the researchers and/or media seemed to merely jump to those conclusions (perhaps revealing their pro-choc biases by doing so).

Of course, not everyone is biased in favour of junk food. Oh no. Plenty of people are dead set against it. Lots, for example, have quite a negative view of fast (fried) food — such as hot dogs, French fries, and hamburgers — especially when they’re produced by large-scale multinational fast food chains. (At this point, it may interest you to know that the Wikipedia entry for ‘Big Mac’ is locked against new edits.)

I can’t say I disagree with the objectors. Such foods generally make you fat and unhealthy, being composed as they are of gratuitously enormous amounts of calories, saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium. And while others might argue that people have a right to eat themselves silly if they want to, the type of fast food we’re talking about often appears to be targeted at people who are poorly equipped to understand the relevant health considerations. People such as kids, for example (yep, kids are people too).

Obsessed with 'Ice Age 3'? Then why not eat a Happy Meal?

So when we hear news that eating fast food not only makes you fat and unhealthy, but also makes you clinically depressed, I guess we might be inclined to accept this at pretty much face value. After all, bad things are bad, aren’t they? Hmm. I know you want me to say ‘yes’. Well, erm, in this case at least, it’s unclearContinue reading “Happy Meals make you unhappy? Not so fast…”

A study not worth its salt?

This week’s news that researchers had apparently debunked the link between dietary salt intake and heart disease was surprising to say the least, but for all that it was lapped up enthusiastically by the media. Some headline writers revelled in the newness of the findings: “Scientists shake up what we know about salt” announced CBS News; “New salt study stirs up controversy” said The Independent. Many outlets remained hesitant about dispensing with prior wisdoms: “Eating less salt may not help heart health” cautioned US News & World Report; “Is sodium actually good?” wondered Shape Magazine. However, as always, other news reports were quite happy to shift the paradigm straight away, providing verdicts that turned previous wisdom on its head. “Salt is GOOD for you” announced the Daily Mail. “Low-salt diet kills” warned the Canada Free Press. “Pass the potato chips” cheered The Globe and Mail. So what’s the story with this research then? Should we now start munching on salt rocks straight out of the shaker? Or should we take these new findings with a pinch of, well, you know…? Continue reading “A study not worth its salt?”

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