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Calorie Counts Could Soon Be Posted On Vending Machines

By Christian Hartnett, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Reporter, ChristianHartnett@kcoy.com
Published On: Dec 29 2013 08:33:17 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 29 2013 09:45:48 PM CST

President Obama's healthcare overhaul affects more than just your health insurance. Watch for a shift in your break room, more specifically, the vending machines.

President Obama's healthcare overhaul affects more than just your health insurance. Watch for a shift in your break room, more specifically, the vending machines.

You might think twice before putting that wrinkled dollar bill in that vending machine. Before you punch in the numbers for a snack, you might have to see the number of calories that are in it, posted on the outside of the vending machine.

That's right, that not-so-healthy candy bar or bag of chips will soon have its caloric goodness displayed, thanks to labeling regulations for vending machines included in President Obama's healthcare overhaul. Five million machines nationwide will be required to follow the new regulations, hoping to help Americans make healthier food choices.

If you saw the 310 calories that are in a bag of Cheetohs posted on the vending machine at your office, you might opt for a healthier choice. That's good news for you and me, but the companies that have to put the notices on these vending machines aren't exactly thrilled.

Companies will be spitting out money to comply with the changes. The rules apply to over 10,000 companies that operate 20 or more vending machines. The Food and Drug Administration estimates the new regulations will cost the vending machine industry $25.8 million right off the bat, and then about $24 million per year after that.

Despite the financial burden, the FDA says it will pay off. In a report, it says if .02 percent of obese adults ate 100 fewer calories per week, the savings to the health care system would off-set the cost.

The final rules are expected to be released in early 2014, possibly in February. Under the current proposed rules, companies would be given a year to make sure calorie information is posted on all their machines.

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