Vending Machines to Soon Display Calorie Count

- Judging a snack by its packaging can at times be deceiving.

William Carter, Transforming Texas program manager, says, "Then you have the shock value if you're interested in how many calories or how much fat or how much sugar is in something, you're not going to find out until after you make the purchase."

But that won't be the case much longer.

"A reason for this, as I've read up on it, has to do with the obesity epidemic in the country," Carter says. "A third of the country is obese, so this is just an initiative started by the government to try to help people be more aware of the types of food they're eating."

Under the new healthcare law, calorie information will soon be required on about five million vending machines across the U.S.

"It's just going to turn consumers, regular consumers, into informed consumers, so you're going to be aware of what's actually in the products that you're buying before you buy," Carter says.

Information that could affect your health in the long run.

"If you're a habitual vending machine user, then yeah, you could take in several hundred calories a day, almost the equivalent of what you get in one meal," he says. "And if you're just the occasional browser, than you may take in 100 or 200 calories here or there."

And Carter says those extra couple hundred calories could add up to 10 or even 20 pounds a year.

The FDA is expected to release rules for vending companies to follow within the next couple months.

And once those rules are announced, vending machine companies will have a year to comply and make sure consumers see a snack's calorie count when they enter the snack code.

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