Chicago Mayor Emanuel Healthy Vending Machine Initiative Limits Beverage Sizes To 12 Ounces

The recently introduced healthy vending machine ordinance proposed by Chicago Mayor Emanuel offers guidelines on fat, sugar and the calorie content for snacks and beverages in vending machines in city departments and building. The beverage guidelines include that all beverage selections, with the exception of water and seltzer, are limited to 12 ounces; all hot beverages options must be 25 calories or less; and that only 25 percent of the cold beverages can be "high calorie," with 75 percent being less than 25 calories per eight ounces.

The food restrictions include a requirement that 75 percent of the food options in a machine must contain 250 calories or less, with at least five food items containing 250mg or less of sodium per serving; and at least one food item in a machine must be both gluten- and nut-free.

The ordinance also includes a provision that the prices for healthier food and beverage items cannot exceed the prices charged for less-healthy food and beverage items. Additionally, the calories of food and beverage items needs to be displayed.

The ordinance would take effect January 2013.

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