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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

No Free Lunch For Salty Foods

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City may have put a a focus a new compensable event.  A long proponent of a healthier living environment, Bloomberg has proposed reducing salt content in food in the Big Apple by 25%.

While emphasizing the seriousness of the health hazards of salt intake, he compared the consumption of salt to asbestos and smoking, "Salt and asbestos, clearly both are bad for you," Bloomberg continued. "Modern medicine thinks you shouldn't be smoking if you want to live longer. Modern medicine thinks you shouldn't be eating salt, or sodium."

There is no free lunch in the adoption of this scenario. If an employee is exposed to salty foods in the course of the employment and suffers a medical event associated with the intake of salt, then compensability may follow.

"The New York City Health Department is coordinating a nationwide effort to prevent heart attacks and strokes by reducing the amount of salt in packaged and restaurant foods.Americans consume roughly twice the recommended limit of salt each day – causing widespread high blood pressure and placing millions at risk of heart attack and stroke. This is not a matter of choice. Only 11% of the sodium in our diets comes from our own saltshakers; nearly 80% is added to foods before they are sold. The National Salt Reduction Initiative is a coalition of cities, states and health organizations working to help food manufacturers and restaurants voluntarily reduce the amount of salt in their products. The goal is to reduce Americans’ salt intake by 20% over five years. This will save tens of thousands of lives each year and billions of dollars in health care costs."

More than 40 cities, states and national health organizations have joined the National Salt Reduction Initiative. The goal is to reduce the salt intake of Americans by 20% over the next five years.

Click here to read more about asbestos and workers' compensation.