The New York City Board of Health voted unanimously on Wednesday to require chain restaurants to include a saltshaker symbol next to menu items that exceed the daily recommended limit of 2,300 milligrams of salt, making New York City the first U.S. city with the requirement, the Associated Press reported.
This will apply to an estimated 10% of menu items, and the restaurants required to comply are the New York locations of chain restaurants that have at least 15 U.S. locations. These chains account for about one-third of restaurant traffic in the city.
Board of Health member Dr. Deepthiman K. Gowda said in a statement: “My hope is that this impacts not only consumer practices but also impacts the practices of our restaurants.” Experts say that most Americans consume too much sodium, which can lead to a greater risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes.
Lori Roman, president of the Salt Institute, a trade association for salt producers, said: “This is another example of the government creating policy based on outdated, incorrect sodium guidelines.”
This is one of multiple health-conscious regulations the city’s Board of Health has tried to implement. Previously, it attempted to ban trans fats and limit the size of sugary drinks. Restaurants fear that after re-doing their menus to comply with this new sodium regulation, there will be another right around the corner.