New York City officials take the health of the city’s residents seriously.
Two mayors have backed a long-running campaign against excessive consumption of sugary drinks.
Now, the city is cracking down on too much salt in meals.
Starting Tuesday, a tiny salt shaker symbol that warns certain items are high in sodium will appear on menus in chain restaurants in New York, Reuters reported.
It is the first US city to take the step, an effort to combat heart disease and stroke.
Any menu item containing more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium, the daily limit many nutritionists recommend, equivalent to about one teaspoon of salt, must display the emblem of a salt shaker in a black triangle.
The measure, unanimously approved by the New York City Board of Health in September, applies to restaurants with at least 15 establishments across the United States and to concession stands at some cinemas and sports stadiums.
The new menu labels may be an eye opener for customers who flock to chains such as Subway, which are perceived to be more healthy.
Until Tuesday, they may have been blissfully unaware of the sodium content of a Subway’s foot-long spicy Italian sub (2,980 mg), TGI Friday’s classic Buffalo wings (3,030 mg) or Applebee’s grilled shrimp and spinach salad (2,990 mg).
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in New York City, claiming nearly 17,000 lives in 2013, the health department said.
It noted a “well-established connection” between sodium intake and high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
The sodium warning label pressed by Mayor Bill de Blasio echoed a series of efforts by his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, including banning smoking in public places and requiring fast-food joints to post calorie counts.
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