New York City made headlines in 2013 when it attempted to limit the size of soft drinks, a move intended to curb the consumption of obesity-related products. However, the move was rejected by the New York State Court.
But that didn’t stop the city from finding other ways to promote healthy living. As of Tuesday, Dec. 1, New York City has made it mandatory for chain restaurants to put an image of a salt shaker next to any products that exceed the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams of sodium.
The move comes as health advocates and federal regulators look for ways to convince the general public to cut back on their salt intake. According to Business Insider, experts say most Americans consume too much sodium—on average 3,400 mg per day—which in turn increases their risk of high blood pressure and heart problems.
"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.
As the war on sodium intensifies, salt producers are urging city officials to reconsider based on misimpressions about the risk of consuming the mineral. And many restauranteurs are concerned the healthy-eating initiatives are in fact a scheme.
"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 when the city health board approved the salt requirement.
According to Business Insider, the new rule will apply to roughly 10 percent of menu items in New York City. Restaurants have until March 1, 2016, to implement the change or they will face the risk of fines.