Proposed salt warnings on New York City restaurant menus will not stifle consumer choice, the city's health commissioner said Friday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration advocates a health code change that would require chain restaurants to add a salt shaker image next to items that contain more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium, the daily recommended limit in the U.S. Elevated sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"This is really giving the patrons of fast food chains and chain restaurants information they need to make healthy choices. We're not telling them to change their foods," said Dr. Mary Bassett, New York City's health commissioner, in a CNBC "Power Lunch" interview Friday.
Some detractors have argued that the sodium intake limit touted by Bassett is an underestimate. Officials have also faced backlash from local restaurant groups, who say it adds unnecessary regulation and costs for menu changes.
Bassett noted that area chains will already have to overhaul menus for federal requirements to list calorie counts later this year. If passed in time, restaurants could weave salt warnings into the new menus, she said.
A final vote on the measure could come as soon as September.