Calorie Info Could Be Coming To Vending Machines - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Calorie Info Could Be Coming To Vending Machines

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WMDT 47 News - Health insurance isn't the only thing changing under President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul law.  New regulations will likely hit many Americans not only in the pocket, but also the gut, or thighs, or love handles.  You get the picture, it's vending machines.

That mid-afternoon slump hits, sending many a worker looking for a pick-me up from the salty, sweet, abyss that is the office vending machine, but new regulations under President Obama's healthcare overhaul law could soon have consumers counting their calories and their change before making a selection.
   
In an effort to help curb obesity-related healthcare costs, the owners of an estimated 5.4 million snack machines will be required to post calorie counts on all their products.  An endeavor, which is anticipated to cast them an estimated $25 million.

One nutrition expert we spoke with says, while knowledge is power...no one's hitting those buttons expecting health food to pop out.

"We already know we're not making a good decision when we go eat something dried and usually sugary or highly caloric like potato chips from vending machine," says Lynn Matava, a certified wellness and nutrition consultant.

Snacks like Skittles (250 calories) and M&M's (220 calories) already post calories on the front of the packaging, but it can still be a shock to actually read what's on the label.      

"Maybe not so much for a candy bar," says Matava, "so much as if they see a granola bar they thought was healthy...and then they see it has more calories or more sugar than the Snickers bar."
 
Her best advice to avoid even being tempted?

Lynn Matava says to "pack snacks; it's really difficult to go overboard on eating an apple.

Vending machine companies would have a year to comply with the new calorie display rules, which are expected to be released early next year.     

The FDA is also working on final rules for requiring restaurant chains with more than 20 locations to post calorie information, something some cities already mandate, and some fast-food companies have voluntarily begun to implement. 

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