Watch the salt.
Look for the label.

Philadelphia displays sodium warning labels on chain restaurant menus

the labels

Starting September 14, expect to see sodium warnings on popular menu items at chain restaurants in Philadelphia. Chain restaurants with more than 15 locations must post warning labels on menu items and combination meals with 2,300 mg of sodium or more. Now Philadelphians will have the information they need to make healthier choices.

Eating one of these items alone puts the consumer over the maximum daily sodium intake recommended by the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Heart Association.

 The sodium warning labels look like this:

Why Are Sodium Warning Labels Needed On Chain Restaurant Menus?

  • High sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.
  • People in Philadelphia are particularly likely to have high blood pressure.
  • Average daily sodium intake is 3,400 mg, while the recommended upper limit is 2,300 mg daily.
  • Decreasing sodium intake has the potential to lower high blood pressure rates by 25%, preventing hundreds of deaths a year from heart disease and stroke in Philadelphia.
  • 71% of sodium comes from processed and restaurant foods.
  • Some restaurant items contain more sodium than the maximum recommended for an entire day (2,300 mg)!
  • Studies show that customers at fast food restaurants underestimate sodium content by an average of 1,000 mg, and by even more for higher sodium dishes.
  • Many city residents want to make healthier choices when they eat out.
  • A sodium warning label educates diners about menu items with very high levels of sodium and allows them to choose lower sodium items.

What a menu might look like

tips for reducing sodium when you eat out

Look for sodium warning labels on chain restaurant menus​

Request smaller portions​

Ask that no salt or less salt be added to your meal​

Ask for nutrition information or search online before going out

Share an entree with a friend or family member​

Limit how often you eat out

More information about how sodium can impact your health:

Hear stories from real Philadelphians who experienced life-changing events that set them on the path to reduce the salt and reclaim their health.

Additional Resources