Salty Snacks Sinking Along A Predictable Rich-Poor Divide

❝ Consumers are buying less salty packaged food, although still too much by some standards, according to a longitudinal study of more than 170,000 households that used barcode scanners to record all packaged food purchases for a year as part of the Nielsen Homescan Consumer Panel.

❝ Total sodium from packaged food purchases decreased significantly between 2000 and 2014 (by 396 mg/d per capita). Sodium content of packaged foods also dropped overall by 12% over that 15-year period, which extended to all of the most salty foods, particularly condiments, sauces, and dips.

Still, the researchers noted in the paper in JAMA Internal Medicine that there is room for further reduction as more than 98% of households had packaged food purchases containing more than “optimal” levels of sodium…

❝ Two analyses in JAMA Cardiology of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from the past 10 and 15 years, respectively, showed that income still matters for cardiovascular risk factors.

One showed that predicted cardiovascular event risk, smoking rates, and blood pressure improved in high-income groups but not among people at or below the federal poverty level. The other showed persistent gaps between the lowest and highest income groups for diabetes, dyslipidemia, and obesity as well as a widening gap in prevalence of hypertension and in smoking.

Anyone surprised when cultural and income differences reinforce poor choices?

Need a reminder? Republican Congressional candidate, “I do not support a livable wage”

❝ With two weeks until the election, Republican candidate Karen Handel has given her Democratic opponent a gift-wrapped present in the special election for an open Georgia House seat.

At a debate on Tuesday, Handel said that she did not support a “livable wage” because she’s a conservative, not a liberal. Immediately, Democrat Jon Ossoff pounced on the admission, releasing an ad highlighting his support for the living wage.

❝ “This is an example of the fundamental difference between a liberal and a conservative: I do not support a livable wage,” Handel said…“What I support is making sure that we have an economy that is robust with low taxes and less regulation.”…

❝ Handel’s remarks, which were widely reported in the media, may prove another example of how conservative policy orthodoxy — rather than Donald Trump’s many scandals — are dragging down Republican candidates in congressional and state elections.

Some pundits have argued that Trump’s low approval ratings and Russia-related scandals are helping to sink Republican candidates nationally. But opposition to a living wage is well-entrenched as Republican Party dogma, going back decades. By contrast, though he’s taken contradictory positions, Trump began his campaign by running on increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour. It’s a position many of his voters supported. Republicans’ unpopular opposition on minimum wage hikes isn’t something they can pin on Trump.

Seattle is the best example of lying Republicans trying to hide from their opposition to an increased minimum wage. This instantly becomes disposable income – helping the wallets of folks who need a wage increase the most.

As for the Republican yawner about tax cuts and deregulation giving us a booming economy, take a look back at the Republican economies that started with this crap and ended with recessions or depressions. From Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush.