July 24, 2009

Consumer Group Sues Denny’s Over High Salt Content

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) sued Denny's Corp. on Thursday over the restaurant chain's lack of disclosure of "dangerously high" sodium levels in its meals.

In a lawsuit filed in Middlesex County, New Jersey, the advocacy group said some meals at Denny's contain more than 5,000 milligrams of sodium "“ an amount far exceeding the 1,500 milligrams of daily sodium that most Americans should consume.

High sodium diets are a leading cause of high blood pressure, which is linked to heart disease and stroke.

"For those Americans who should be most careful about limiting their sodium, such as people middle-aged and older, African-Americans, or people with existing high blood pressure, it's dangerous to eat at Denny's," a Reuters report quoted CSPI Executive Director Michael Jacobson as saying.

"Denny's customers deserve to be warned about the considerable health risk posed by many of these meals."

A spokeswoman for Denny's said the restaurant chain had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.

The CSPI said its analysis of Denny's menu revealed that the restaurant's Meat Lover's Scramble meal, which comes with two eggs with diced ham, chopped bacon, crumbled sausage, cheese and two bacon strips, two sausage links, hash browns, and two pancakes, contained 5,690 milligrams of sodium -- 379 percent of the recommended daily limit.

The consumer activist group said it had held private discussions with Denny's about sodium levels in its meals earlier this year.  Following those negotiations, Denny's reduced sodium in a few items, but not throughout its menu as the CSPI had advised.


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