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Dialogue Summaries |

Risks, Costs, and Benefits of Dietary Modification

Robert J. Rubin, M.D.
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US. Department of Health and Human Services

Ann Intern Med. 1983;98(5_Part_2):883. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-98-5-883_1
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The participants in this session (mostly physicians, dieticians, and representatives from the food industry) focussed almost exclusively on the effects of sodium restriction on the hypertensive person. There was nearly unanimous agreement on the risks and costs of reduced salt intake, and discussion of this topic was brief. The asserted dangers, including delay in necessary pharmacotherapy and injury from a clinically significant sodium deficit, were thought to be unlikely consequences of reasonable dietary management.

There was disagreement on the benefit of reducing dietary sodium. Most believed that reducing salt consumption alone would lower blood pressure in a substantial number of


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