New York City Requires Chain Restaurants to Include Sodium Level Warnings on Menus

September 15, 2015|1:31 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

The New York City Board of Health has passed a rule that will require chain restaurants in the city with 15 or more establishments nationwide to include a salt shaker icon with menu items containing more than 2,300 mg of sodium.

New York City sodium warning for menus

That amount of sodium, approximately one teaspoon of salt, is recommended by many nutritionists as the daily limit and is considered by many a conservative benchmark for such a measure. High sodium consumption is linked to heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.

The policy is believed to be the first of its kind.

“Overly salty chain restaurant meals are turning Americans’ hearts and brains into ticking time bombs—gradually raising our risks of suffering a heart attack or stroke,” said Michael F. Jacobson, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in a statement. This action by New York City Board of Health “will help consumers avoid some of the riskiest chain-restaurant offerings,” he said.

The saltshaker must be in a triangle “as wide as it is tall,” according to the new regulations, “and equal in height to the largest letter in the food item’s name,” as reported in this article by The New York Times.

Learn more on the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s website, and in this article by U.S. News and World Report.

See also our recent coverage of this topic: “High Sodium Consumption Takes a Toll on Health.”