Vending machines will soon display calorie counts - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Vending machines will soon display calorie counts

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Amarillo, TX - New requirements will soon be changing the look of a vending machine near you.

Vending machines and snacks will soon be required to display the calorie count either on the outside of the packaging or the outside of the machine.

Starting this year the FDA is requiring all vending machines to place stickers on the outside of the machine detailing the calorie count for each product inside, unless it's already posted on the packaging.

"Big companies like Nabisco and Frito Lay they can probably afford to put the label, the calorie count on the packaging, but if they don't do that, then it falls upon the vendor to make that accommodation," Tracy Shea with AQ Vending in Amarillo said.

But having the calorie count listed on the outside of the product may help consumers think before they push the buttons.

"Just 100 extra calories a day adds 10 pounds a year, so having that information will help consumers make informed decisions," Micah Wing who is a Clinical Nutrition Manager at BSA.

However, Shea says purchasing labels and placing them on the machines could hurt AQ Vending's business.

"Either it's going to cost me more time at each location or it's going to cost me more money to produce labels," explained Shea. "We've already decided that we'd rather buy products locally and go ahead and take on the additional burden of updating the machine and doing the label, but not everyone will make that decision."

While it may be difficult on the vendor, it may benefit the consumer.

"I think it's the right thing to do to have the information on the outside of the vending machines to help you make the choice before rather than looking at the choice afterwards," Wing said.

Shea tells us while the changes have started taking effect with the start of the new year, vendors and manufacturers do not face the threat of fines until 2015.