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Impact Consumer

Improving Consumer Understanding of Sodium Levels

Food label showing high sodium content

While the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a max of 2,300 mg per day of sodium (around 1 teaspoon of salt), Americans eat around 3,400 mg of sodium per day on average. Having a diet high in sodium is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, which can cause problems with one’s heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes. CHIBE researchers were interested to learn whether sodium warning labels on chain restaurant menus could reduce sodium consumption.


Findings from this study on restaurant sodium warning labels informed the design of the final Philadelphia sodium warning requirement. CHIBE Associate Director and Director of the PEACH Lab Christina Roberto, PhD, and colleagues found that designs with warning text could improve consumer understanding of the levels of sodium in their meals. Chain restaurants in Philadelphia now use the image below to inform restaurant-goers of meals that exceed 2,300 mg of sodium.

Research Areas