Ushering in a new wave of conscious eating in America, New York City will be the first city in the country to require chain restaurants to start putting a special symbol on highly salty dishes.
The ‘salt warning rule’ will come into effect Tuesday. Foods that top the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams — about a teaspoon — of sodium will be marked with a saltshaker emblem.
“With the high sodium warning label, New Yorkers will have easily accessible information that can affect their health,” city Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said when the Board of Health approved the new warning in September.
Salt producers – not surprisingly – think the city is acting too hastily about the risks of salt in New Yorkers’ diets. The city’s restaurants agree, with the idea that healthy eating initiatives shouldn’t single out any one ingredient for obesity or health problems. Plus, New York shouldn’t create its own salt-warning scheme when federal regulators are working on new, national sodium guidelines.
“Every one of these cumbersome new laws makes it tougher and tougher for restaurants to find success,” New York State Restaurant Association President Melissa Fleischut said.
As mentioned above, this isn’t the first novelty health initiative by the city. They’ve banned trans fats from restaurant meals, and forced chain eateries to post calorie counts on menus. New York has also tried to limit the size of sugary drinks, but was unsuccessful.