The Talker: Soda vending machines to display calorie labels - FOX 32 News Chicago

The Talker: Soda vending machines to display calorie labels

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

There's something new we'll soon be seeing soon on pop machines in Chicago: calorie labels.

Soda pop has been linked to America's rising obesity rates. New York City responded by banning sugary drinks larger than 16-ounces and other cities, including Chicago, have looked at adding big taxes to high-sugar soft drinks.

But, on Monday, Mayor Emanuel announced he'll go a different direction. Emanuel shared the podium with the makers of Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper at a news conference to announce that vending machines will now have the calorie-count of each drink listed on the button you push to choose that drink. Now, people will see the number of calories and be able to easily compare the different drinks.

At the same time, the choices of low-calorie drinks in the machines will be beefed up. Emanuel says this approach is best because of one key factor that other plans lack.

"It's the right strategy because it incentivizes personal responsibility. You cannot get to where you need to go in controlling healthcare costs without personal responsibility," says Emanuel. "We think these kinds of things are gonna get a lot further faster than bans or fights over discriminatory taxes, which there is research after research which says they will not work. They will not change behavior."

What are your thoughts? Will calorie information on vending machine buttons reduce consumption of sugary drinks?

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