Vending Machines Are Getting Calorie Counts, Because Obama Thinks You're Fat

Categories: Food News

vending_machines.jpg
Via tinisanto
Amidst all the kerfuffle over healthcare reform, the Affordable Care Act is affecting one sector that no one really anticipated: American vending machines.

A provision of the ACA will require vending machine companies to post nutritional and calorie information on their machines in an effort to let consumers make more informed choices about the kind of cheesy corn snack they're about to buy.

According to the Associated Press, the new law applies to companies that operate more than 20 machines, which totals about 10,800 companies across the country. About 75 percent of those companies have three employees or fewer and are already dealing with low profit margins. The total cost to the vending machine industry will be just under $26 million initially, and then $24 million in upkeep each year after that. A representative for the National Automatic Merchandising Association told the AP that those costs will only hurt businesses since there's no return on the investment.

See also: John Tesar Is Opening a Steakstaurant Called Knife. Plus, a List of His Next Five Restaurants.

The Food and Drug Administration disagrees, though. According to them, if 0.02 percent of obese adults in the country consumed 100 fewer calories each week, the reduced strain on the health system would at least match the annual $24 million the law is expected to cost the vending machine industry.

It's unclear whether or not nutritional information on vending machines will knock out those 100 calories a week. Some cities have already started campaigns requiring restaurants to list calorie counts on their menus. Recent studies have shown that in New York one in six people took the calorie information into account while in Philadelphia the information had no impact on customers' choices.

The information seems to suggest that people who are concerned with healthy eating and paying attention to calories are already doing so, while people who aren't interested don't take the information into account. But Brian Ebel, assistant professor of New York University's department of population health and medicine, tells the AP that there's reason to think that the vending machine campaign will be at least marginally more successful than the city-wide restaurant ones.

Companies currently have a year to comply with the new regulations, but the National Automatic Merchandising Association is pushing for a two-year deadline.

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12 comments
gm0622
gm0622

Obama, and Michelle can kiss my ass. 

I eat about 4 times a day, but just to the comfort point. I weigh the same weight as I did in 1978.

vendweb
vendweb

The push for healthy items has been around now for 2 or 3 years and many vending operators are finding the only thing that is going down is the sales from their machines. The government is mandating what can and can not be sold in many machines in certain locations and the operators of those machines are finding that sales are just going out of the machine to local quick stop shop stores. The calorie count devices are already available for many machines and touch screens with information about the products have been on many machines already for the past year. This is not something new just a follow up to what already is being done and the FDA getting the information back out. The big question everyone is asking is who are the police for this law?

MaxNoDifference
MaxNoDifference

This is the Nanny State intrusion at its worst.  Isn't the nutritional information already printed on each of the products inside the machine?  You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that candy bars are high in calories and that chips are generally high in fat and sodium.  If you are concerned about what you eat, pack your lunch. 

Andeeme
Andeeme

Allowing people to be educated on what they eat is a good idea.  Those who care will look, those who don't care - don't have to look.  To go one step further, however, calories are not really enough.  People need to be able to see the # of portions, the ingredient lists, and the fat grams, sodium grams, and nutrient breakdowns.  If someone is gluten free, nut allergic, or on restricted sodium - they should be able to know what they are selecting BEFORE they buy.


Say what you will - but vending is an 8 BILLION dollar industry.  Lets let it advance along with other industries that are assisting individuals and corporations in wellness.


There are new devices, such as VendScreen, that show full nutrient panels on a touchscreen that is a retrofit on to a standard vending machine.  It also adds cashless technology.  Win-win for everyone.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Yeah, we're fat because people don't know that Snickers bars have a lot of calories.


That one rates up there with "healthcare is expensive because doctors are cutting out healthy tonsils just for the fee."

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

@gm0622 


Thanks Obama(s)!  I weigh less than I did in 1877, but that is mainly because I decayed, like, 130 years ago. 


But, I do get your point gm0622.......I'm always within 30 days of max health. Couldn't imagine being raised a slob like most kids these days. Again, a HEALTHY meal for them is Chipotle.  Farm raised my *ss!  It's farm raised like the Kaiser was Jewish. 


Kids "cain't" eat right because the parental units are too busy being kick ass to notice Johhny eats lunch from a vending machine. Between zero parenting, fast food, the dwindling middle class, and polarizing politics, we ought to be Russia in about 10 years. 

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

@vendweb 


This is crazy, because everyone knows that most things from a vending machine are horrendous for you.....it's common knowledge, like wiping da butt. I know when I stop and get nasty coffee and a 6 month old pastry from a machine, it's going to be bad; but it's the convenience of not going into a store. With that being said, regulations will drive up the cost for everyone.  SO, we are paying because most of us are stupid-yay America! Legislate morality, legislate consumption, regulate and make health care a sullen backwater; in time this will maim our middle class, and we will be Russia. 

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

@Andeeme 


Wrong wrong wrong, people don't need MORE silly info, they need to understand food like "we" used to.....we have a whole generation of people that think that chicken grows on tree's and that a decent meal is a chicken burrito at Chipotle. 


ps-Thank Obama!  Worst administration since Gerald Ford's. Makes Clinton look like Einstein!

Andeeme
Andeeme

@kergo1spaceship@Andeeme- This is not about Obama.  This is about vending machines, and labeling of food products.  The packages are labeled for individual sale - which means they are intended for people to see.  I realize that you might prefer to eat fresh foods. So do I - but lots of people eat at vending machines.  This isn't going to change - and offering an insight to what is in their purchases before they buy is not going to change their desire to purchase from the machine.  Often for a shift-worker, this is all that they have.




Andeeme
Andeeme

@kergo1spaceship@Andeeme - we are in complete agreement.  No one has to eat junk, processed food, or soda.  If they choose to - caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) - so let's let them have the information to decide for themselves.  

Thanks for the fun dialog...

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

@Andeeme @kergo1spaceship 


But options abound; you don't HAVE to eat Mcdonald's/junk........we make our own choices, you make the wrong choices, you fail. When I was a shift worker, I made choices that helped me....not hurt me; based upon my accumulated knowledge. Heck, you don't even need a third grade education to know right from wrong. See, you have to care, and you can't write "you must care about yourself" on a label. 


ps-I thanked Obama to get the hippie, left wing, unwashed, Chipotle, Starbucks, everything's disposable, "I'm 50 but act 30", faux downtowners all riled up. 



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