Now In Office Vending Machines: Calorie Counts

vending machine

Starting January 1, vending machines across the nation are required to present calorie information for products sold. This is a small part of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that deals with nutrition. We wish there was more attention to food and prevention in the law, but this is better than nothing at all.

There are 5 million vending machines in America, and despite the whining of vending machine operating companies that calorie labeling will lead to financial losses, they are required to complete the process by the end of this year. We  don’t foresee any vending machines disappearing from offices, public institutions, or schools.

Although nutrition is much more than just calories, having the calorie count front and center may help an individual opt out of some choices. It may also encourage the addition of lower calorie snacks to the mix. In the war on obesity, every small advantage counts.

Do you buy from vending machines?

Will calorie information change your purchase decision?

  • John Cserkuti

    This may help the health conscious, but I don’t think this will make any difference to people who don’t care about their health. To the latter they don’t even know what a Calorie (not calorie) really is and if they want that candy bar they’re going to eat it.
    You know how they say that the best protection from STDs is abstinence? Well the same is true about junk food. The difference is sex isn’t sold in a vending machine for $1 a shot (what a world it would be) and the ease at which we can attain this junk food is a huge roadblock to anyone practicing abstinence (of junk food).

    • Anna

      Interesting way of putting it, very insightful.

    • Clay

      Well said, completely agree with your assessment.

  • Mooney

    Just what we need. More and bigger government intrusion, telling us what to eat, how to live, what to do and how to do it. All at the taxpayer’s expense. Ultimately, we’re paying them to mandate, more and more every day, nearly every aspect of our lives. People don’t buy Cheetos out of a vending machine because they think its the low calorie, low fat, healthy choice. They buy them because, in large part, they are the cheapest and most convenient choice. If our federal government really wanted to practice what it preaches, it would end the enormous subsidies, political favors and payouts that have created so many of these health crises to begin with.

    • Dani

      Because it is the government who is subsidizing GMOs and doing political favors, I think it is their job to take action. I wouldn’t consider it an intrusion. However, I agree with you that they ought to reverse what they’ve done to create these health crises instead of these small efforts to shut people up.

    • newbie

      I agree. With you lets face it we know the items in that vending machine is junk take some personal responsibility when ypu eat that its not someone elses fault abd we dont need the government wasting money to regulate common sense

  • kfay

    I’d much rather know the ingredient list than the calories

  • Joey

    It’s a step in the right direction. I know I’ll certainly opt for lower calorie options. This is in a lot of fast food restaurants here in VA now and seeing the calorie counts skews my ordering decision EVERY TIME for the better. Quit complaining about the government trying to help. Start complaining about the food companies trying to hide this info from us.

  • Kelly

    There isn’t enough research to support that posting calorie information will help the consumers change their choices. Money would be better spent subsidizing healthy food programs for increasing food security in America.

  • Trying to get healthy!

    Stop blaming and knocking the government. Let’s call it for what it is so many criticisms because our President is black. This administration has done more than any other administration in terms of health!
    Nutrition count for vending machines is not about telling us what to eat, it’s about making us aware so we can make healthy choices. I see nothing wrong with that!

  • Sarah

    I used to occasionally buy from vending machines. But, as someone in eating disorder recovery, this sort of thing is very harmful for me. I guess I won’t be buying from vending machines anymore.

  • saily

    Well said, completely agree with your blog