Your Healthy Family

Jan 8, 2014 5:12 PM by Annie Snead

Your Healthy Family: Vending Machines to Post Calorie Count

Many of us love to head to the vending machine for a quick afternoon snack.
But pretty soon, you'll see some additional numbers,that aren't the price.
Calorie counts are going to be posted as one of the requirements under the health care law.
"Well I think that's silly," said
"It shows the calories on the back of the snack," said
Folks we spoke with about the new requirement for vending machines in 2014 had similar reactions.
"Seems kind of silly,"
But many nutrition experts say it's useful..
The calories will be posted on around 5 million vending machines.
"I think the more information the better, if we want people to be responsible for their own health, lets give them the information to do that," said Rick Hughes, Director of Food and Nutrition for District 11.
He says there's a good possibility that people will make better choices because they have the information.
The FDA estimates the change will cost the vending machine industry $25.8 million the first year - plus another $24 million each year after that.
"And yeah that seems like a huge amount but when you consider, that's 5 million vending machines, that's $5 a machine. Considering how much those machines make, I don't think that's a big expense at all I think that's ridiculous considering the benefit of what that information will provide," he said.
The district is actually looking at putting "smart vending machines" in some of their schools.
"They're awesome machines in that - number one: they're filled with only good healthy fresh food choices, but then also they communicate what the health information is," Hughes said.
And they provide nutritional information for the food they serve online.
Many food chains already provide nutritional information on their menus.
Vending machine companies will have a year to comply.

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