New York debuts salt warnings on menus

Nov 30, 2015, 5:23 PM EST
Salt shakers. Source: Flickr - Kai Schreiber
Salt shakers. Source: Flickr - Kai Schreiber
Starting Tuesday, chain restaurants in New York City are required to label menu items that top the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams (a teaspoon) of sodium. A salt shaker emblem will be the marker for these items in a new era of nutritional warnings for the city, and for the U.S. as a whole. CBS News quotes Rebecca Blake, senior director of clinical nutrition at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York:
"I think this is another important initiative along with the calorie labeling rule. But we must remember to provide the consumers with adequate education on how to reduce sodium intake and where to find hidden salt in our diets - it certainly is not limited to fast food."
Prepared foods are the most common sources of high level of sodium — not necessarily people over-salting their own foods. This new labeling initiative is part of the city’s efforts to educate the public as to how much sodium it intakes.
Bob Lutz, CEO and president of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, says that laws dictating nutritional information on menus aren’t ending any time soon.
“Many cities and states continue to look at regulating nutritional information for consumers at restaurants, and in Massachusetts we have seen the same trend,” Lutz says. He adds that there’s “nothing imminent” in menu labeling, his association is frequently talking to Boards of Health across the state.
According to Reuters, the measure to require restaurants to label these foods was unanimously approved by the New York City Board of Health in September, and it applies “only to restaurants with at least 15 establishments across the U.S., and concession stands at some movie theaters and sports stadiums.”