Bill Proposed for Healthier Vending Machines in Maryland

BALTIMORE (AP) — An anti-obesity coalition is proposing a bill that would require healthier options in vending machines on state property.

WJZ-TV reports (http://cbsloc.al/2hWi9f6) that Sugar Free Kids Maryland announced the Maryland Healthy Vending Choices Act on Thursday. The bill would require half of the snacks in vending machines on public property to meet certain standards regarding amounts of calories, sugar, salt and fat.

Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president of the health and wellness group Horizon Foundation, says the legislation would help combat the state’s “strikingly high” diabetes rates.

Opponents such as Ellen Valentino of the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Beverage Association say the bill is an overreach. She says some vending machines already display calorie counts, and that dictating what must be in machines could limit options.

A different version of this legislation failed last year.

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