New York City begins a new era in nutritional warnings this week, when chain restaurants will have to start putting a special symbol on highly salty dishes.
The first-of-its-kind rule takes effect Tuesday. The Board of Health approved the new warning in September. It will require a salt-shaker emblem 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 advocates, federal regulators and some in the food industry are trying to get Americans to cut down on salt. Experts say most Americans consume too much of it, raising their risks of high blood pressure and heart problems.
“Many New Yorkers are not aware of the connection between sodium and high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack,” city Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said, adding that those are the leading causes of death in New York City and the country. “Most people don’t know that they are not going to control their sodium intake by taking the salt shaker off the table.”