Shelby County, Tenn. Mayor Adopts 'Fit Pick' Program For County Vending Machines

Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr., called for changes to the Shelby County Tenn., vending machines so they would offer more nutritious snacks in county facilities.

“Providing an effective public health program is one of my top priorities. It makes good sense for Shelby County Government to promote a healthier lifestyle for our employees and visitors,” said Mayor Luttrell, in a prepared statement.

There are 172 vending machines at 17 buildings operated by Shelby County Government. Under the mayor’s plan, 50 percent of the foods can have no more than 35 percent of calories from fat and10 percent of calories from saturated fat.

The new vending machine choices complement the Healthy Shelby awareness plan implemented by Mayor Luttrell earlier this year.

“We’re working hard to educate the public about the dangers of obesity and the connection it has to high blood pressure and chronic diseases. Healthier choices at the vending machines emphasize the importance of our message to stay fit,” said Kenneth Robinson, M.D., Health Policy Advisor to Mayor Luttrell.

Healthy foods will be identified on the vending machines with a Fit Pick symbol, which identifies foods that are lower in fat and sugar than traditional vending snacks. The Fit Pick nutritional criteria are based on the dietary recommendations of the American Heart Association.

The National Automatic Merchandising Association created Fit Pick as a simple, ready-to-use system of vending machine stickers that identify vended products which meet a standardized set of nutrition guidelines.