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Healthy Biz: Denny’s Sued for Sodium

September 9th, 2009

Check out this story:


That’s right! Denny’s restaurant chain faces a lawsuit because a New Jersey man has finally realized that many (in fact most) of the meals served at this fast food joint contain more sodium than an individual should get in a whole day. Surprise! 1) Where has this guy been for the past twenty years? 2) Buyer beware… or maybe be aware.


I am all for encouraging business to exercise some corporate responsibility to its patrons but let’s not forget that we as consumers also have to be accountable for our own actions and purchases as well. I’m telling you right now. Unless it is disclosed otherwise, assume the worst. Businesses aren’t dumb. If they had food that tasted good and was healthy, they’d tout it.


And so that you aren’t like Mr. New Jersey who recently woke up to this alarming fact, fast food typically contains an exorbitant amount of sodium and fat is not a preferred source of fiber or other nutrients. Moreover, the meals frequently come in portions beyond what most of us require in one serving. Okay! So don’t be surprised if you eat at places like Denny’s and your blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes go out of control.


Now back to the more important point about business versus personal responsibility. Like I keep saying, we need to and are fully capable of holding businesses responsible (and not necessarily by filing lawsuits). It is much simpler. Spread the word and stop buying these unhealthy foods. Denny’s would change their menu in a flash if everyone stopped buying the unhealthy edibles. They’re in the business of selling food. If food stopped selling, they’d change to something that does sell. It’s the law of supply and demand again. If we demand healthy food, they’d supply it or go out of business. I’m waiting for the day that restaurants have at least half of their menu items that could actually be considered “good for you.” Wouldn’t that be great?! We’ll get there. We just need to take a stand and let our purchases do the talking.


If you’re going to spend your money eating out, patronize the businesses that have healthy offerings and order those items. That communicates to business what we want. As sales plummet for unhealthy items, they’ll be removed or replaced on the menu. That’s one way to demand healthier options.



*** MAHALO to all of you who have completed the general health survey. Thanks to all of you, we have more than 400 responses and still welcome more! For those who haven’t, I invite you to participate, tell your friends and help Build a Healthy Hawaii. Please visit my website It is a short 12-question online survey that should take only 2-3 minutes to complete. Mahalo for your support! 🙂 Lori

10 Responses to “Healthy Biz: Denny’s Sued for Sodium”

  1. NeedaHobby:

    Hi Lori - this type of lawsuit irritates me. I agree with you. I think people should be more accountable, but big corporations will probably settle because they don't want the negative publicity or costs of going to trial. When I visited Seattle, I learned that fast food restaurants are required to publish nutritional facts on their menu boards. It was quite eye-opening! 😯

    Also, thanks for the info - I love the Olive Garden but noticed that two of their meals are on the top ten list for most sodium. Yikes - that must be why it tastes so good!

  2. jaydee:


    I totally agree with you. I rarely eat at fast food places because of the high fat and sodium content. I never add salt to any food that I eat. My sisters, on the other hand, will pour the salt on without even tasting it! Yikes!

    I wish all restaurants would post nutritional information on their menus right beside the meal, like NeedaHobby mentioned about Seattle. It would cause some people to re-think their selection that's for sure!

  3. NeedaHobby:

    I've said a lot already, but forgot to mention ... my body seems to know when I've had too much salt (or not enough water - not sure which). I get bloated/swollen, rings get tight, etc. Unfortunately, by then, it's too late yeah? 🙄

  4. NKHEA:

    HI Lori 🙂

    That's one of my bad habits, I like to eat salty things 🙁

  5. Rosette:

    well I guess next time people go into restaurant you sign a paper if you eat too much and croak it is your fault !

  6. Rosette:


  7. Lori Okami:

    Hi NeedaHobby!
    I do like the idea of requiring food establishments to provide nutritional information, particularly that type of establishment. Of course, it might be unreasonable to ask the same thing of the small neighborhood diner (because of cost) but it is good to know. Of course, some of the food... you just know is bad for you.

    BTW--I love Olive Garden too. It's one of my favorites and I only get it when I see my son in Oregon.

    Hey jaydee!
    Yup. At the very least, allow us to make an informed decision. Then, the choice is ours.

    Hey NKHEA!
    I think many of us are hooked on salt. I'm not sure which is my greater weakness--salty snacks or sweets. If you're out in the water a lot, better for you since you like the salty stuff. Just get lots of fluids. And I hope you don't have high blood pressure. 🙂

    Hi Rosette!
    Looks like Denny's might have to think about that, huh! And caution to all the other fast food joints.

    Aloha All! Go have some fresh fruit!

  8. Keahi Pelayo:

    When will people start taking responsibility for the things they put in their mouth. This needles suit hurts all of us.

  9. Lori Okami:

    Hey Keahi!
    Yes, yes, yes. Agree. I'm reminded of the Eagles song, "Get Over It." If you haven't heard it, gotta take a listen.

    Be well,

  10. Clarno:

    Awesome post, i know ill need to be back soon