Soda vending machines in Chicago municipal buildings will be among the first in the country to get calorie count displays under a new program backed by major beverage manufacturers.The Coca-Cola Co., Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and PepsiCo are participating in an initiative that will start in Chicago and San Antonio municipal buildings next year before rolling out nationwide, the American Beverage Association said Monday.
Soda vending machines in city government buildings will sport new labels on selection buttons that show how many calories are in each drink. The trade association said the Calories Count Vending Program also includes adding signage reminding consumers to think about calories and increasing the availability of lower-calorie selections.
“Everyone who works in or visits a municipal building in Chicago and San Antonio will know exactly how many calories are in their favourite beverages before making a vending machine purchase,” Susan Neely, president of the American Beverage Association, said in a statement.
The industry group said the new program complements previous initiatives, such as putting new calorie labels on beverage packaging and removing full-calorie soft drinks from schools. Sugary drinks have been a focus in the country’s debate over rising obesity rates among adults and children.
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