Vending Machines Get Calorie Counts

Health law puts calorie counts on vending machines
New regulations will put calorie counts on vending machines in the near future.

The mid-afternoon vending machine visit might be getting a bit less calorie-laden, as new regulations will require vending machines to sport calorie labels for the snacks inside them.

According to The Huffington Post, the labeling regulations for vending machines are included in President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul. According to the FDA, displaying calorie counts on vending machines will help people make more healthful choices when confronted with a wall of snacks behind glass. The new regulations will require calorie counts on approximately 5 million vending machines in the US. The FDA is still working on the specific regulations that will come into play, and is expected to release its final rules early in 2014.

The labeling regulations will apply to about 10,800 companies that operate 20 or more vending machines. The FDA estimates the labeling laws will cost the vending machine industry $25.8 million in the first year, which would be about $2,400 per vending machine company if spread evenly across the 10,800 companies affected by the new regulations. But the FDA says that if even .02 percent of obese adults ate just 100 fewer calories a week, the health care system would save at least that much.

Calorie counts on vending machines are not unprecedented. Last year the American Beverage Association rolled out vending machines with calorie counts on the selection buttons in an attempt to promote low-calorie beverage options.  

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