Chicago may cut calories in snack machines

Nov. 15, 2012 at 1:53 PM
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CHICAGO, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he plans to replace all the snacks in vending machines in city buildings with healthy choices by next year.

An ordinance that would spell out the fat, sugar and calorie contents of the snacks is set to be introduced to the city council this week, WMAQ-TV, Chicago, reported.

In announcing the proposal Wednesday, Emanuel said "when city employees take their wellness into their own hands, we can reduce healthcare costs and also serve as a model for the residents of Chicago when it comes to making healthy choices."

The ordinance would limit "high calorie" beverages to 25 percent of the machine's total can count, or to 25 calories or more per 8 ounces. No drinks in the machines could be more than 12 ounces. Hot drinks would have to be low-calorie.

Food snacks could have no more than 250 calories and at least five items in each ending machine would have to have no more than 250 milligrams of sodium per serving.

Healthy foods couldn't cost more than those that were higher-calorie under the proposal.

If approved, the ordinance would go into effect in January.

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