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Calorie information to be displayed on vending machines - abc27 WHTM

Calorie information to be displayed on vending machines

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Pretty soon, you could be counting more than change at the vending machine. A new requirement will make vending machine companies display calorie information, too.

It is all part of the President's health care reform; to encourage people to make healthier choices.

But will it work?

"You know, if it's right there in front of your face, if something has a higher calorie count, I may not want to get it that day," said Cori Shaffer of Camp Hill.

"I'm not really gonna change on how I buy food," John Arose of Harrisburg said. "I'm gonna do that kind of inquisitive work regardless of whether or not the government tells a company to put it on the outside of a vending machine."

Mike Anderson, who owns Dr. Dessert Vending, agrees. His company has been providing abc27 with snacks for 16 years.

"The bottom line is the person has to decide for themselves," Anderson said. "They have their own liberty. Do they really want to do it? Do they want to eat properly or do they want to, you know, cheat a little bit? But typically our best customers are the ones who cheat."

Vending machine companies feel cheated, too. They will have to comply with the new regulations, spending lots of money with no return.

"They have something out there that is computer generated. It's a touch screen and it's about a $300 component that you mount on the outside of the machine," said Anderson.

Updating Anderson's 250 vending machines will cost $75,000. Anderson said that is money that will not be well spent.

"My feeling is the nutritional information is out there, but it's not something people think a lot about when they go to the vending machine to buy it," he said. "Our customer is not one who thinks about nutrition."

The FDA estimated that if just two-tenths of obese adults ate 100 fewer calories a week, the savings to health care would at least balance out the cost to vending companies.

 

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