FDA overhauls vending machine laws - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

FDA overhauls vending machine laws

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It will soon be easier to tell how many calories are in your snacks.

Calorie counts will soon be displayed on vending machines all around the country.

It’s part of new labeling regulations required under the federal health care overhaul law.

The FDA is expected to release the final rules early next year.

The proposal calls for companies with 20 or more machines to comply.

Under President Barack Obama's health care law...most vending machines will be required to also list the calorie content of each of its items.

The FDA believes displaying calories will help consumers make healthier choices.

Approximately five million vending machines nationwide will be affected.

Dr. Steven Garner of New York Methodist Hospital said we need education. ”I am no sure if the vending machine is the right place to educate people how to eat properly,” he said.

He also believes companies should be pressured to make healthier products.

A New York study found that only one in six customers looked at listed calorie information.

“When you look at past history, and what happened to a similar project in Philly, people didn't even bother reading the stuff,” Dr. Garner said. “So you got to get people to read it to be effective, when people want their snickers bar, they want it.”

The change will cost the vending machine industry millions.

However the FDA says, if just two hundredths of obese adults ate 100 fewer calories a week, the savings to the health care system would be immense.

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