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Black communities consistently face hunger at higher rates than other communities due to social, economic, and environmental challenges. 


The Issue

The Center for Black Health & Equity supports all communities to have access to fast food restaurant menu disclosure warning labels on single-item foods or combination meals that are in excess of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). This ingredient has a direct impact on blood pressure and heart disease, and reducing our sodium levels will reduce our risk of developing these health problems.


While the FDA has provided guidance for an overall sodium reduction in prepared and processed foods, The Center believes the suggested number is not low enough for African Americans. African Americans are already at risk due to other factors such as stress and systemic racism, so excess sodium will only increase the risk of heart disease.


  • The current DGA for sodium is 2,300 mg per day; this equals about a teaspoon of table salt.  An ideal limit is no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults, especially individuals with high blood pressure. Reading nutrition labels and having access to warning labels helps consumers to make healthier food choices.

Cleveland’s “Cut the Salt, Keep the Flavor” Campaign

  • The prevalence of high blood pressure in Ohio is 34.5%. Cuyahoga County is ranked among the least healthy counties in Ohio (Lowest 0%-25%). 

  • Nearly two-fifths (38%) of Cuyahoga County adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, and 38% have high blood cholesterol.

  • Restaurant and processed food contribute more than two-thirds of the daily dietary sodium intake.

  • While consumers can control how much salt they use at the table, pre-added salt cannot be taken out. Consumers deserve more control over their health and more information when they order a meal instead of the food service establishment deciding for them.

  • In 2020, Cleveland became one of the first cities to prioritize consumer choice by passing a policy making low-fat milk, water, and 100% fruit juice the default beverage in restaurant kid's meals.

  • Salt warnings on food service establishment menus can only further the public's journey toward improving its overall health.

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