When the city's Board of Health ruled last fall that chain restaurants in NYC have to put an ominous salt icon next to menu items with exceptionally high sodium content, it was promptly hit with a lawsuit from the National Restaurant Association, which argued that the city was unfairly targeted chains. But a Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Eileen Rakower ruled today that the city can go ahead and enforce the warning requirement, chains' complaints be damned.

“Some people just love salty foods, and they’re going to go ahead and eat those foods regardless of whether they have a salt icon next to them,” Rakower said today. “It’s not a ban. It’s information. It’s a warning.”

The CDC doesn't recommend consuming more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day—about a single teaspoon—but the average American consumes up to 1,000 milligrams more than that, and that's certainly not helped by the sodium content of many items at chain restaurants. Sodium content on fast food menus regularly tops 1,500 milligrams, and many items pack a single day's recommended sodium limit into one meal. A twelve-inch turkey, ranch, and swiss sub at Quizno's packs 2,950 milligrams of sodium, while an Italian Combo Sandwich at Panera has 2,850 milligrams, and a salt bagel at Dunkin Donuts has an astounding 3,380 milligrams (though you probably could have guessed as much from the name).

The Health Department’s ruling requires chain restaurants to indicate whenever a menu item exceeds the CDC’s recommended limit of 2,300, but plenty of chains just skirt the minimum that would require them to post a salt shaker graphic next to such items—at Taco Bell, for instance, a host of items are listed at 2,260 milligrams, and McDonald's has a number of foods well into the 2,000 range. According to health officials, the salt warning would apply to about 10 percent of menu items at city chains.

In its lawsuit filed in December, the National Restaurant Association argued that the warning would "confuse and mislead consumers into potentially making less healthy food choices," and accused the city of trying to "circumvent the legislative process." But history wasn't in the chains' favor: New York has led the nation on requiring menu calorie counts and banning trans fats, and will now be the first city to require salt warnings.

For the National Restaurant Association, however, it's not a done deal: a spokesperson said that "we will be exploring all of our legal options moving forward," calling the ruling an "arbitrary, onerous, and costly mandate."

As the New York Times notes, some chains, such as Subway, T.G.I. Friday’s, and Applebee’s, have already begun complying with the sodium-warning rule. Following the judge's ruling today, chains will have just six days to get their act together and post warnings on their menu, or face a fine. That fine was initially posted at $200, but appears to have since gone up to $600. We reached out to the Department of Health for confirmation, and will update when we hear back.