Rule requiring NYC restaurants to post sodium warnings upheld by state supreme court

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NEW YORK — With the support of the state’s highest court, New York City on Wednesday became the first in the country to require chain restaurants to post sodium warnings on their saltiest dishes.

Food items that contain the total recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams or more of sodium now will come with a salt shaker icon on menus to warn consumers of their high salt content.

The court’s decision Wednesday clears the way for the city to enforce the rule.

Already chains such as Applebee’s, Subway, TGI Friday’s and Regal Entertainment Group movie theaters have started to slap the label on their products, the city said.

All other chain restaurants — that is, eateries with 15 or more locations nationwide — operating in the city will have to do the same starting March 1 or face the possibility of a fine.

The city’s board of health unanimously passed the sodium warning rule Sept. 9, 2015, saying New Yorkers deserve to know, for the sake of their health, how much salt is in their food.

An average adult in the five boroughs consumes nearly 40 percent more than the recommended daily limit of sodium, which has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, according to the NYC Department of Mental Health and Hygiene.