New York City may become the first in the U.S. to require warning labels about high sodium content on menus in chain restaurants.
The city's Health Department will propose Wednesday that eateries add a salt shaker symbol to menu items that contain more than the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams of sodium, equal to about one teaspoon of salt, the Associated Press reports.
Studies show that people who eat more sodium are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, which in turn contributes to heart disease, kidney problems and the possibility of a stroke. But doctors say some people are more sensitive to salt than others, so it's difficult to pinpoint a strict limit to sodium consumption.
The average American consumes around 3,300 mg of sodium per day, 1,000 mg over the recommended daily intake. About three-fourths of that sodium intake comes from prepared or processed restaurant foods. Only about one in 10 Americans meet the one teaspoon of salt per day guideline.