New York City is trying to get people to eat healthier again, this time with warning labels about high salt content

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Starting this week, big chain restaurants in New York City will have to post warnings about the salt content of all of their dishes that have more than the daily recommended intake of sodium.


It's the latest example of New York's attempts to promote healthy eating by enforcing that customers get more information: In 2008, the city introduced mandatory calorie counts on menus. With this latest law, any menu item that has more than 2,300 milligrams of salt will require a salt shaker symbol and a warning. According to NBC News, Americans consume around 3,400 milligrams of salt per day, on average.

Whether or not measures like this actually work to make people eat healthier is up for debate: two separate studies have found that calorie counts, for example, don't change the way people order, Eater reports. But national chain restaurants who voluntarily display calorie counts do tend to have healthier offerings. It could be that restaurants are volunteering to provide that information because they're already offering healthier food, but there's no indication that they've changed their menus to be especially healthier.


By December 2016, all big chain restaurants will be required to display calorie counts under the Affordable Care Act. There are no specific federal regulations in the works that would require restaurants to display high salt warnings.

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