Do The Facts Support What We Believe?

I recently read a fascinating article on salt and high blood pressure. We all know the first causes the second, right?

Do The Facts Support What We Believe?

Actually, that’s wrong. Several studies have found an inverse relationship between salt intake and death by pretty much all causes, including heart disease. In other words, more salt means living longer – or at least that’s what the studies show.

So why do so many of us, including plenty of doctors, have this wrong? Because folks accepted very poor evidence. First came the 1904 report from French doctors that six of their subjects who had high blood pressure ate a lot of salt. Then in the 70’s a researcher gave rats high blood pressure by feeding them 500 grams of sodium a day. You would have to eat more than two pounds of salt a day to get that much sodium. Some folks are sensitive to sodium, but for the vast majority of the population, there is zero evidence that salt is harmful. And yet we had Congress set very low daily salt levels, and pretty much everyone thinks limiting salt will make them healthier. So much hype with no real evidence.

This is human nature, and we all do it all the time. We make a decision based on what is, at best, questionable evidence. Then once we have decided something, we ignore any evidence that we are wrong. We do this with science, we do it with politics, and sadly we do it with our spouses. We jump to a conclusion or make a decision based on information that may not be valid. We assume something based on an off-handed comment or a strange look. Sometimes we judge our wife based on how our mother or a past girlfriend treated us.

Is anything you believe about your wife not supported by good evidence? Challange what you believe about her!

Related Resource It’s Time to End the War on Salt | Scientific American

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3 Comments on “Do The Facts Support What We Believe?

  1. To me this is the “the world is more and more wicked” argument. The last speaker I listened to before I stopped going to my church’s mens group who came to talk to us about being good fathers said:

    “You wouldn’t believe the divorce rate now”
    “The teenage pregnancy rate is insane”
    “This generation is all about themselves”

    To all the huffaws from the old men talking about how respectful and god fearing they were “back in my day”. Not one person challenged any of that nonsense, in fact:

    1. The divorce rate peaked in 1980, and is actually about at the same level it was in 1970 ( )
    2. The teen pregnancy rate is about half what it was in 1990 (
    3. I would argue this point, millenials are perhaps the most social service minded generation I’ve seen, baby boomers are the most self righteous

    People believe what they want to believe.

      • no, it was most definitely not appreciated……. hence the “before I stopped going”. I don’t think I’ll be asked to fill the next open deacon slot anytime soon

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