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NYC Chain Restaurants Now Required To Label High-Sodium Foods

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Starting Tuesday, some restaurants across New York City are required to roll out new menus highlighting high-sodium items.

Those items will have an image of a salt shaker next to them.

"When you see this warning label, you know that that item has more than the total amount of sodium that you should consume in a single day," Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said.

"This is something that people that have love affairs with salt shakers are well exceeding on a regular basis," Dr. Howard Weintraub of NYU Langone Medical Center.

Chances are good Mayor Bill de Blasio will be paying close attention to his heath department's new warnings about sodium content, WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported.

"I eat too much salt. I too have sinned, Rich. I have to say in my ancestral cuisine there's a lot of salt," de Blasio told Lamb. "Luckily, Chirlane is very, very adamant about reducing the use of salt, so my hand has been slapped many times. I've been stared down, the salt shaker's been moved to the other side of the table."

The maximum recommended amount of salt is 2,300 milligrams, which is about a teaspoon per day.

New Yorkers had mixed reactions to the new rule.

"I think that's a great idea, too much salt is really not good for you, it's a wonderful thing that they would let us know," one man told 1010 WINS' John Montone.

"I'm going to taste the food first to see if I need salt, if my taste buds tell me I don't need salt I ain't going to put no salt in it. If I need some salt I'll sprinkle a little on it," another man said.

The new rule is the first of its kind in the nation. The Board of Health approved the new warning in September.

It applies to chains with more than 15 restaurants.

In recent years, New York City has pioneered banning trans fats from restaurant meals and forcing chain eateries to post calorie counts on menus. It led development of voluntary salt-reduction targets for various table staples and tried, unsuccessfully, to limit the size of some sugary drinks.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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