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NYC officials meet with restaurant reps on salt content

NEW YORK Several representatives of the restaurant industry met Wednesday with New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials to discuss ways of addressing the salt content of foods served in restaurants, according to parties who were invited to the event.

They would not reveal the agenda or other details of the meeting. But a spokeswoman for the health department said in a statement e-mailed to Nation’s Restaurant News: “Heart disease and stroke are leading causes of preventable death. Both are consequences of high blood pressure, which is closely tied to high salt intake. The health department is exploring various options to address this important issue.”

Thomas Frieden, commissioner of New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, indicated in a recent interview with a local paper that he might focus on high salt content as his next restaurant-related health concern. Frieden previously led the city in banning trans fats from restaurant fare and mandating that local units of chains with at least 15 units nationwide post calorie counts on their menus and menu boards. Both measures have been widely copied by other jurisdictions.

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