Vending machines dispensing soda will show calories starting next year educating consumers, with the ultimate goal of helping to fight obesity.
Is this really necessary?
Most people know that soda contains calories.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that about one third of Americans are obese so perhaps reminders to consumers are necessary.
There was a lot of controversy last month when New York City passed the first US ban of oversized sugar drinks to help fight obesity.
The New York City ban that applies to establishments under the auspices of the department of health including restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues, coffee shops, food trucks and streetcars prohibits the sale of soft drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces, however customers can get around that by purchasing two drinks
The American Beverage Association has a new program for soda vending machines that will go into effect at city government buildings in San Antonio and Chicago in 2013.
The amount of calories in each drink choice will appear on buttons that consumers press to select their drink.
In an effort designed to make consumers aware of the amount of calories, the machines will also display a message reminding customers to check their selection and to try a lower calorie beverage.
Will this measure help to reduce the obesity rate or will it be viewed as an intrusion of personal choice?
It remains to be seen if the new soda vending machines will be able to persuade consumers to switch to another drink after they have already decided which beverage they want.
After the initial roll-out at the city government buildings, the new and improved soda vending machine will be rolled out nationwide.