Statement of CSPI president Dr. Peter G. Lurie
Legislation introduced today in the Philadelphia City Council to let consumers know when they are about to buy a menu item with extreme levels of sodium could make a real contribution to the public’s health. Like the New York City Board of Health requirement that has now been in place for almost two years, the proposed Philadelphia ordinance requires a warning icon and statement next to any menu item that contains at least 2,300 milligrams of sodium—the amount in a teaspoon of salt. That’s the maximum recommended daily limit according to the federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Eating a day’s worth of sodium in a single serving is simply not good for your blood pressure and your health. Excess sodium consumption is associated with tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S. every year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, a champion of menu labeling, is the legislation’s sponsor, and she has the support of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Tom Farley. Good for them.
In the meantime, more cities should follow the lead of New York and Philadelphia in protecting the heart health of their citizens.