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Vending Machines Will Display Calorie Counts

Update Date: Dec 30, 2013 10:08 AM EST

Within the United States, programs aimed to encourage people to eat better and exercise have jumpstarted everywhere. Due to the fact that obesity is a contributing factor to many other health conditions, such as heart disease and hypertension, curbing it is extremely important. As a part of President Barack Obama's health care law, vending machines will start to have calorie information, which would ideally influence people to purchase healthier snacks.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nearly five million vending machines will be required to provide calorie information. The final rules will be released sometime next year. The FDA estimated that this overhaul will cost the vending machine industry around $25.7 million at the beginning. For every year after the new rules, the cost per year would be around $24 million. The vending machine industry includes around 10,800 companies, with each of them operating 20 machines or more.

Even though the new health law was created with people's health in mind, the National Automatic Merchandising Association expressed their concerns over the new costs. According to the association, vending machine companies typically hire around three or fewer positions and their profit margin is very low.

"The money that would be spent to comply with this - there's no return on the investment," the Association's vice president for government affairs, Eric Dell, said reported by NBC Bay Area.

"It is outrageous for us to have to do this on all our equipment," owner of Brennan Food Vending Services in Londonderry, Carol Brennan stated. Brennan currently employs five people and services hundreds of vending machines. "How many people have not read a label on a candy bar? If you're concerned about it, you've already read it for years."

The vending machine companies have one year to comply to the new standards. The industry is urging the government to enforce a two-year deadline and to be flexible.

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