Irresponsible journalism as it pertains to the sports world is one thing. It can be annoying but it is basically harmless. Irresponsible journalism when it comes to health can cause harm, and even death.
I have fun arguing against Colin Cowherd at times in my blog. Sometimes he can be insightful, and others he is being a shock jock just trying to get attention. Propping up Lebron James and putting down Michael Jordan may be committing sports sacrilege to many, but again, ultimately harmless.
On his ESPN radio show this morning Cowherd wanted to rant about things that get a bad reputation. His main point was about college basketball’s, Syracuse Orangemen’s, zone defense. On his points here I agree.
However, he set the Syracuse piece up by using salt as his first example. He lauded all of the wonderful uses of salt. How it enhances the flavor of food, melts the snow, and so on. And in truth, salt is a necessary electrolyte that you could die without. According to the US Center for Disease Control you do need about 180 mg to 500 mg per day.
But sodium and its excessive intake by many Americans is a contributing cause to heart disease and other maladies. In his opening salvo, the Herd didn’t mention this. He made it sound like salt was heavenly divine–all good. Later into his Syracuse rant he did squeeze in the following, “Eat a canister of salt and your heart will explode”. Too little too late Colin. A canister? A canister sounds like a lot. Maybe enough to explode the hearts of three families of five. Certainly a canister is a lot more than a teaspoonful.
According to the Mayo Clinic a teaspoon of salt contains 2,325 milligrams of sodium. Do you know what the maximum recommended allowance of sodium is for an adult over the age of 50? 1,500 mg. If you’re an adult under 50 it is 2,300 mg. So with just one teaspoonful of salt a day you exceed that. Also, according to Mayo, the average American consumes 3,400 mg of sodium a day.
What’s the big deal you might say? According to ABC News.com, a Harvard research team just released a study stating that 1 in 10 deaths in the U.S. is a result of high sodium intake. Last I checked Herd, the Syracuse zone never killed anyone.
This was an irresponsible presentation by Cowherd. One that I hope his listeners don’t suffer for. One that I hope is brought to his attention so he can rectify it by providing his audience balanced information.