Lying By Synonym

A new risk has been discovered in health journalism: the word "accompanied". 

A former NYC public health official thinks it's a good idea to lie to you about the science of salt in your diet. The piece is titled "The Public Health Crisis Hiding In Our Food". The only thing "hiding" here is the truth:

The new study shows that this drop in salt intake has been accompanied by a substantial reduction in average blood pressure, a 40 percent drop in deaths from heart attacks and a 42 percent decline in deaths from stroke. 

Correlation does not equal causation, even when spelled "accompanied".

See if you can spot the deliberate deception in the following:

Lower smoking rates in Britain no doubt are helping as well, but as the authors of the study point out, the fall in mortality echoes the success of Japan and Finland in earlier decades, both of which reduced sodium consumption from sky-high levels with focused government efforts and saw huge drops in heart attacks and strokes. 

If you said: "Comparing the data of other countries that also saw a drop in smoking does not remove the confounding effect of smoking" then give yourself a gold star!