Dining out and eating healthy is easier when cities and restaurants give consumers the information they need to eat smart. On June 21, Philadelphia’s City Council decision ensured that restaurants will identify menu items exceeding 2,300 mg of sodium with a sodium warning label, allowing customers to make informed decisions about their food. Philadelphia is the second U.S. city to pass this type of legislation, following New York City Board of Health’s historic vote in 2015.
The science is clear that eating too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and other serious public health issues impacting our communities. Most Americans eat unsafe levels of sodium without realizing it. More than 70 percent of the sodium consumed is added to food before it reaches our plates in restaurants, processed and prepackaged foods.
We look forward to seeing the impact and results of the different approaches to sodium warning labels in Philadelphia and New York City as both cities drive sodium reduction in the long-term. Philadelphia’s effort to identify the saltiest menu items will help people make more informed food choices while eating out. Consumers deserve nutrition transparency and a warning label is a positive step in helping inform the public about the risk of excessive sodium consumption.