NYC’s Salt Warning Labels Take Effect This Week

NEW YORK( AP) — New York City begins a new epoch in nutritional warns this week, when chain eateries will have to start putting a special symbol on highly salty dishes.

The first-of-its-kind rule takes effect Tuesday. It will require a salt-shaker badge on some sandwiches, salads and other menu items that top the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams – about a teaspoon – of sodium.

It’s the latest in a series of novel nutritional moves by the nation’s biggest city, and it comes as health proponents, federal regulators and some in the food industry are trying to get Americans to cut down on salt. Experts say most Americans ingest too much of it, creating their risks of high blood pressure and heart problems.

“With the high sodium warning label, New Yorkers will have easily accessible information that can affect their own health, ” city Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said when the Board of Health approved the new warn in September. She’s due to discuss it further at a news conference on Monday.

The average American ingests about 3,400 mg of salt per day, and public health proponents have cheered the measure as a smart step to construct diners aware of how much sodium they’re ordering. A T.G.I. Friday’s New York cheddar and bacon burger counts 4,280 mg, for example; a Chili’s boneless Buffalo chicken salad has 3,460 mg. The figures come from the companies’ published nutritional information.

But salt producers say the city is acting on misimpressions about the risks of salt in New Yorkers’ diets. An international analyze involving 100,000 people suggested last year that most people’s salt intake was OK for heart health, though other scientists faulted the study.

Restaurateurs say healthy feeing initiatives shouldn’t single out any one ingredient and that the city shouldn’t generate its own salt-warning scheme when federal regulators are working on new, national sodium guidelines.

“Every one of these cumbersome new laws constructs it tougher and tougher for restaurants to find success, ” New York State Restaurant Association President Melissa Fleischut said when the city health board has adopted the salt requirement.

It will apply to an estimated 10 percent of menu items at the New York City outlets of chains with at least 15 outlets nationwide, according to the Health Department. Officials say those chains do about one-third of the city’s restaurant business.

While eateries are expected to comply as of Tuesday, the city won’t start collecting penalties until March 1.

In recent years, New York City has pioneered banning trans fats from eatery dinners and forcing chain eateries to post calorie counts on menus. It resulted development of voluntary salt-reduction targets for various table staples and tried, unsuccessfully, to restriction the size of some sugary drinks.

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