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Since Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D. stepped down as the executive director of Center for Science in the Public Interest, he has spent much of his time researching and writing a book about a topic he has worked on since the late 1970s: salt.  Why salt?  Because Americans’ typically high-sodium diet is a major cause of high blood pressure and heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, and possibly even contributes to cognitive decline, impaired vision, headaches, and erectile dysfunction!  The book, Salt Wars: The Battle Over the Biggest Killer in the American Diet (MIT Press)was published in October 2020 and is available in bookstores and online.

Salt Wars delves into the science and politics of salt. Dr. Jacobson explains what has driven the controversy over the health impact of high-sodium diets (surprise, surprise—flawed research and industry objections to lowering sodium).  And he discusses the general failure of the US FDA to implement public health approaches that would lower sodium levels in packaged foods and restaurant meals.  Finally, because any future government action would take years, if not decades, to implement, he provides advice on how we consumers could reduce sodium in our own diets.

Jacobson, who holds a PhD in microbiology from MIT, is well-known for his nutrition advocacy over nearly half a century that helped eliminate artificial trans fat from the food supply, expose the enormous calorie counts of movie theater popcorn and many restaurant foods, and make Nutrition Facts mandatory on food packages.

Dr. Jacobson will be interviewed at this presentation by Iona Senior Services Nutritionist, Chris Bentin. Bring your own questions.

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Salt Wars


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