Warning: Vending Machine Snacks Have Calories

Buried deep within the version of the health care bill passed by the House, a provision to require calorie counts on your drive-through board and vending machine buttons:

The provision—Section 2572—requires retail food establishments "part of a chain with 20 or more locations" to list calorie counts "on the menu board including a drive-through board," as is currently required in New York City and other localities.

A "vending machine operator shall provide a sign in close proximity to each article of food or the selection button" that includes similar data.

Like a letter writer to a bad advice column, Congress can't resist catchy yet strained acronyms. So the provision in the health care bill combines Sen. Tom Carper's LEAN Act—Labeling Education and Nutrition—with the MEAL Act—Menu Education and Labeling—sponsored by Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

Perhaps the Senate will build in an exception for mechanical food service on the Hill, though. After all, no one wants to read the nutrition labels on their hot dog vending machine.

More on menu labeling here.

Via Marshall Smith.

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  • ||

    I ask this question rhetorically: DEAR GOD! WILL THEY FUCKING EVER STOP?

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    Yes, in 2012.

  • Paul||

    I fucking hope so. The sweet embrace of death will seem like relief.

  • Mad Max||

    More tyranny in the UK:

    According to an article in the Daily Mail, school authorities pretended a teacher had been attacked, let students see the blood and injuries, asked students to help solve the crime, and called in the police (who cooperated with the stunt).

    Parents were not advised of the exercise.

    ‘Mrs Whitehead and her husband Jonathan, 32, have three children Benjamin, five, Ellie, six, and Joshua, eight, at the school.

    ‘Engineer Mr Whitehead said: “The school carried on pretending a crime had really taken place for four days and during that time the children believed a teacher had been injured and that their school had been broken into.”

    '”To make it more convincing, South Yorkshire Police forensic officers went to the school and took the fingerprints of some of the children and a police officer spoke to the children about it.

    ‘”Surely the kids could have been told to imagine all this had happened rather than being told it was real? My son is autistic and we are still struggling to convince him that this was just make believe. He was so upset he didn't want to go back to school.”

    ‘Mrs Shipman said the problem solving was held to cover key skills in science, numeracy and analysis. 'All the feedback is that the children who took part enjoyed the week,' she said.

    '”Essentially we asked them to become a mini-Sherlock Holmes.

    '”The problem-solving week was held to cover key skills in the school curriculum from creative writing through to science, numeracy and analysis.

    ‘”We wanted to give the pupils a topic that would inspire their creativity and their imaginations which is why the crime scene was chosen.

    '”We did consider informing parents ahead of the week but we felt this might impact upon the children getting fully involved.”’

  • ||

    **BLAM**

    "Bowling!" **BLAM BLAM** "Bowling here!"

  • ||

    That's not tyranny, that's just a combination of stupidity and insensitivity. Just like the Rachel Corrie Pancake Breakfast.

  • ||

    It's criminal stupidity.

    You don't get much stupider than that until you get all the way down to Nancy Grace.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    At least the Rachel Corrie Pancake Breakfast is chock full o' funny. This isn't.

  • ||

    I'm sure the teachers were laughing.

  • monolith||

    It was in Sheffield. there were probably plenty of crimes being committed by the pupils and their parents during that week.

  • ||

    The problem with eating a goat isn't in the calories. It is that the tail tickles too damn much.

  • Mad Max||

    Concerning American (not UK) education, Thomas Sowell had some pertinent comments (Inside American Education: The Decline, the Deception, the Dogmas, Free Press, 1993, p. 36):

    'A variety of programs used in classrooms across the country [and in the UK, apparently] not only share the general goals of brainwashing - that is, changing fundamental attitudes, values and belief by psychological-conditioning methods - but also use classic brainwashing techniques developed in totalitarian countries:

    '1. Emotional stress, shock or de-sensitization, to break down both intellectual and emotional resistance\

    '2. Isolation, whether physical or emotional, from familiar sources of emotional support in resistance

    '3. Cross-examining pre-existing values, often by manipulating peer pressure

    '4. Stripping the individual of normal defenses, such as reserve, dignity, a sense of privacy, or the ability to decline to participate

    '5. Rewarding acceptance of the new attitudes, values and beliefs - a reward which can be simply release from the pressures inflicted on those who resist, or may take other symbolic or tangible form'

  • John Tagliaferro||

    The provision—Section 2572—requires retail food establishments "part of a chain with 20 or more locations" to list calorie counts "on the menu board including a drive-through board," as is currently required in New York City and other localities.

    Any provision to make it in braille too, just like the rest of the drive-through board? Can't have those blind drivers getting too fat.

  • ||

    And I await the lawsuits because the information is not also presented in Spanish, French, Tagalog, Mandarin, Arabic....

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Arabic

    Oh noes!BACKLASH!

  • ||

    Tagalog, gotta love it! I didn't even know it existed till an agency i worked with had to post Tagalog instructions.

    "really, are there enough people in America that speak this that it's worth translating? I mean, i had to wiki it to make sure it wasn't a joke..."

  • ||

    In the "language names that sound funny in English" category, it's up there with "Urdu."

  • ||

    This is a great advance for those of us looking to maximize caloric efficiency. Quick calculation of calories/$ and punch the button. Yay!

  • Miss Anne Thrope||

    Die, bitch.

  • Ted S.||

    How about the "For Universal Calorie Knowledge" Act?

  • ||

    Well I'm glad you guys started it.

    I was going with Calorie Understanding Nutrition Training act in honor of the ball-less fucks who can't seem to pen legislation that doesn't turn into a related acronym.

  • Rich||

    How about the "Calorie Reduction Assistance Program"?

  • Joe_D||

    Hey, why is everyone so negative on this? Look, some of us our overweight, and when I go to the Burger King for lunch every day (drive through, since it's at least two blocks away), I don't know what I'm eating. If only I was told the calorie counts, I could make smarter choices for lunch. Then I would be thin and healthy... and I can only assume that my hair would grow back and my wife would become pretty.

  • Paul||

    And you've been waiting in front of the TV, everynight, watching and hoping for a cure to obesity.

  • Abdul||

    This idea works fine in Japan. Those teenager underwear vending machines now stock diet and regular bikini briefs.

  • Warty||

    Look, the obesity problem would be easy to solve, if only we had the political will to follow through with a final solution to the obesity problem. All we need to do is set up a system of camps in the countryside where we can concentrate the obese and make sure they follow a carefully monitored diet and exercise program. We as a nation will get a GDP boost from the products, such as lumber and gold, produced by the obese workers. Not to mention the boost that the cattle car industry will see.

    I fully expect you fascist libertoids to be against my plan, but I assure you, I will be asking you some hard questions and uploading your answers to YouTube.

  • ||

    My solution is better: tax obesity directly. Every year within a week of your birthday, you go to your local post office, take off your shoes, and step on a scale. Everybody gets spotted five pounds for clothes, gets their height measured, and BMI calculated. Then the next time you do your income tax, people pay an extra tax on a sliding scale based on how much their BMI is over the average.

    You have to admit it makes more sense than taxing soda pop or whatever.

  • anon||

    Hmm, today a goat-vending machine, tomorrow a giant penis? Perhaps one day K M-W and Ron Bailey will learn about the dangers of hotlinking images the hard way.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I should've known you'd Godwin the thread, Warty. You anti-fat-person bigot.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    My mistake. I also forgot to mention that your comments were racist.

  • Warty||

    I should have known you would betray your weakness, Art. Go cavort with your lardescent comrades, but know this: your day of reckoning will come.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    "Lardescent" should totally be a word.

  • ||

    Hasn't he seen your picture that I put up? You are totally cut, dude.

  • Paul||

    And we think we're going to legalize marijuana.... HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!

  • Paul||

    Don't uhh, the products IN the vending machine have the calorie counts?

  • ||

    I'd kind of appreciate the calorie count readily available before I purchase food. It's up to you whether you actually use that information or just ignore it. Then again, I forgot how providing information to consumers represents our descent into fascism. My bad.

  • anonymous||

    Protip: If you're buying it from a vending machine, it probably isn't that good for you.

  • ||

    Let's legalize everything I'd kind of appreciate.

  • violent_k||

    I think we should mandate everything SF likes.

  • ||

    simple solution:

    Load the food backwards, since the damn information is already on the packages.

  • ||

    It's like legislative roulette!

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