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New Vending Machines To Show Calories, Offer More Options

A man walks past a Coca Cola vending mac

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – As criticism over sugary sodas intensifies, the beverage industry is rolling out new vending machines that display just how many calories are in its drinks.

The machines will let customers see the calorie counts for drinks before they make their purchases. The vending machines will launch in Chicago and San Antonio municipal buildings in 2013 before rolling out nationally.

The American Beverage Association, which represents Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. says the machines will increase the availability of lower-calorie drinks and remind consumers to consider their options with messages such as “Try a Low-Calorie Beverage.”

“Of course it’s up the customer what they want, but we plan for there to be more low and no-calorie beverage choices available along with the calorie information,” Susan Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association, told 1010 WINS. “I think it’s going to be very popular and a lot of cities will want it.”

They’ll also add calorie labels to the selections buttons on beverage vending machines to show calorie counts per container.

Last month, New York City’s Board of Health approved Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban super-sized sugary drinks.

The new regulation puts a 16-ounce limit on sugary drinks sold at city restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues and street carts and applies to both bottled and fountain drinks.

It does not include grocery or convenience stores that don’t serve prepared food and would not apply to diet soda, other
calorie-free drinks or anything that has at least 50 percent milk or milk substitute.

Bloomberg has said the ban is a way to fight obesity in New York City. He said health-related problems stemming from obesity cost the city about $4 billion a year.

The rules officially go into effect on March 12, 2013.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)