Soda vending machines to show calorie count

advertisement | advertise on newsday

As criticism of sugary sodas intensifies, Coke, Pepsi and Dr Pepper are rolling out new vending machines that will put calorie counts at your fingertips.

The move comes ahead of a regulation that would require restaurant chains and vending machines to show the information as early as next year, although the specifics for compliance are still being worked out.

The American Beverage Association, which represents Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc., said the calorie counts will be on the buttons people press to select a drink. "We have market research that says consumers really like this -- they like choice, they like the ability to make choices," said Susan Neely, president of the industry group.

"They're seeing the writing on the wall and want to say that it's corporate responsibility," said Mike Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which advocates for food safety and nutrition. Still, he noted that it was an important step forward.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The new machines will launch next year in Chicago and San Antonio municipal buildings before appearing nationally.

Without providing specifics, the beverage association said the machines also will boost the availability of lower- and zero-calorie drinks.

The announcement follows the Supreme Court's decision this summer to uphold President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, which includes a requirement for vending operators with more than 20 machines to post calorie information. -- AP

You also may be interested in: