City’s Health Department Wants Chain Restaurants to Warn You About High-Sodium Foods

June 9, 2015 | Prachi Gupta

Unless you are among the 10% of Americans who consumes around one teaspoon of sodium a day, you’re consuming too much salt. And, according to the American Heart Association, that may not be something you can control because “approximately 75 percent of the sodium we eat comes from sodium added to processed foods and restaurant foods.” But would you pass on those mozzarella sticks if you knew that they were a high-sodium food?

If a new proposal by the city’s Health Department gets approved, then all chain restaurants would be required to put a warning label next to items that have more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium, the recommended daily limit. It would be the first city in America to institute such a warning, CBS reports.

Sodium increases blood pressure. Higher sodium diets can increase risks of stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer, and kidney disease, according to the AHA. Naturally, AHA’s CEO Nancy Brown praised the proposal.

“Any meaningful strategy to reduce sodium intake at the population level and improve the health of all Americans must involve the efforts of government officials, food manufacturers, food processors and the restaurant industry,” she told CBS. “The Association hopes these kinds of warning labels will lead to more industry innovation and consumer empowerment.”

The warning label would appear as “a symbol resembling a salt shaker” next to the foods in question, but it remains to be seen if those labels would be intimidating enough to scare people (what’s so scary about a little salt shaker? It’s kind of cute, actually) from selection those likely very delicious cuisine options.

(Photo: m01227)