Big Time Nanny State Is At It Again, First Soda, Now This
In the latest show of force by the all-knowing government that knows best, New York City, under the direction of Nanny-in-Chief Mayor Bill de Blasio, has been okayed by an appeals court to begin issuing fines for the crime of consuming more salt than the government thinks you should.
The city will start enforcing the rule June 6, that requires chain restaurants to post a salt shaker icon on menu items to warn diners of salty foods.
The New York Court of Appeals ruled that the city’s law setting a limit on the sugar content in beverages exceeded the scope of its authority in 2014.
It is the first of its kind in the country, but still under review by the appeal court, which allowed enforcement to commence pending its decision.
Restaurants and chain franchisees face a $600 per violation.
A challenge by the National Restaurant Association contends that the rule violates the First Amendment rights of restaurateurs, and points to disagreement among nutritionists regarding the amount of salt that is healthy for the human body.
Unsurprisingly, Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio called the court’s ruling “a common-sense regulation that will help New Yorkers make better decisions and lead healthier lives,” presuming, once again, that he and the city government are in a better position to make your health decisions than you are.
While some sources estimate that Americans consume almost 50 percent more sodium per day than recommended, the love of restaurant treats such as Buffalo chicken wings and the bacon on everything fad has pushed that level to almost twice as much as is considered optimum.
Diets high in sodium have been found to increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, but there is little evidence to support the city’s contention that diners will order a salad with lemon juice as an alternative to nachos simply because they see a salt shaker icon on the menu.
The appeals court will render a final decision in a few months, but in the meantime, healthy choices at the table, whether at home, at a restaurant or a fast food joint remain the option of the person making the choice, rather than an omniscient government.