Too much salt at Dennys causes lawsuit

A class action lawsuit against Denny's Restaurants is being filed by a New Jersey man with the support of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

The lawsuit is asking for the restaurant chain to disclose the amount of sodium in each of its meals on their menus. They are also requesting the restaurant to place a notice on its menus warning about high sodium levels.

Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that most people consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. But at Denny's, the great majority of its meals contain more, and in some cases, several times more.

Some meals at Denny's provide more than 4,000 or 5,000 mg of sodium
-- more than most adults should consume in three days. Diets high in sodium are a major cause of high blood pressure, which in turn is a major cause of heart disease and stroke, the first- and third-leading causes of death in the United States.

"Denny's is slowly sickening its customers," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "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. Denny's customers deserve to be warned about the considerable health risk posed by many of these meals.

Denny's describes itself as the largest full-service family restaurant in the United States, with more than 1,500 restaurants and annual sales of $2.4 billion.

"By concealing an important material fact about its products -- namely, that that these foods have disease-promoting levels of sodium -- Denny's is failing its responsibility to its customers and is in violation of the laws of New Jersey and several other states," said CSPI litigation director Steve Gardner.

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