Calorie Counts Come to Soda Machines
by Perri O. Blumberg
By now, many have heard about and debated New York City’s Soda Ban. Regardless of how you feel about that decision, here’s a move that I think is worth toasting: The American Beverage Association (representing Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc, among others) has announced that starting in 2013, it will begin posting calorie counts on the buttons of vending machines along with notes reminding people that they can select a low-calorie drink to quench their thirst.
So what’s the big deal? You may think that squeezing in a Coke here or a Vitamin Water there is harmless—or even good for you—but all those liquid calories have a way of adding up. Did you know the average American now drinks a whopping 400 calories every day? With the the calorie count information right there on the machines, consumers are more likely to think twice before slipping their George Washington into the slot and punching in E5 on auto-pilot for a 290 calorie Mountain Dew.
This proactive move by a beverage industry that has come under fire for its perceived role in America’s rising obesity rate definitely seems like a positive step. Coupled with a bag of Pop Chips from healthy vending machines, my mid-afternoon snack break looks like it’s on the way to getting a whole lot healthier.
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