NYC Votes in Favor of Improving the City’s Health Code Standards for Food Service Establishments

September 09, 2015 Categories: Advisories & Comments

Dallas, Sept. 9, 2015 – American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments regarding today’s decision on sodium warning labels:

 “The American Heart Association commends the New York City Board of Health on its historic vote to require certain restaurants to warn diners with a salt shaker icon on the menu when any food item exceeds 2300 mg of sodium. It’s not unusual for a single restaurant meal to have more sodium in it than a consumer should have for the entire day. Most Americans consume an average of nearly 3,500 mg sodium/day, which is more than 1,000 mg more than any public health group recommends.

It is important for all Americans to have the necessary tools to bring their consumption down to moderate, reasonable levels. Too much sodium in the diet can increase the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Nearly 80 percent of our sodium intake comes from processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods. As consumers, we deserve the right to choose how much sodium we eat.  However, that decision is often being made for us by the food industry in some restaurant and prepackaged foods.

Today’s vote in New York City is an appropriate intervention on behalf of restaurant customers and we support the policy’s swift implementation before the end of this calendar year. The policy addresses an urgent health crisis and thus the ‘warning’ designation is appropriate and warranted. The American Heart Association calls on restaurants and the food industry to continue to improve the nutritional quality of their products. We urge other states to follow New York City’s extraordinary example and implement sodium warning labels on menu items. This will ultimately empower and educate consumers, and help save lives.”

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact:

Barb Bennett, 214-706-1325  

barb.bennett@heart.org

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