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New York City Proposes Bold Sodium Warnings on Restaurant Menus

Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson

June 9, 2015

No single meal should be providing a whole day’s worth of sodium, but it’s far too easy to get that much or more at table-service restaurants. New York City’s bold move to require a warning symbol on menu items with a day’s worth of sodium or more would give consumers easy-to-understand information if they wish to avoid some of the unhealthiest meals.

Most people would never pour a whole teaspoon of salt on any single dish, so shouldn’t people be warned when restaurants are secretly doing that for them?

It’s exciting to see New York City’s health department once again lead the way in public health. As when New York City eliminated artificial trans fat and required calorie counts on chain restaurant menus, this policy, too, deserves to be replicated around the country. High sodium content is probably the single most harmful aspect of our food supply. Sensible warning notices will prompt restaurants to use less salt and will help consumers reduce their risk of stroke or heart attack.