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Coke and Pepsi put calorie counts on their vending machines

Vending machines... soon with calorie counts

Coke, Pepsi and Dr Pepper are rolling out new vending machines in the US that will put calorie counts right at the customer's fingertips.

The American Beverage Association said the calorie counts would be on the buttons people press to select a drink.

A mock-up of a new machine provided by Coca-Cola showed 20-ounce bottles of Coke and Sprite inside vending machines, with labels on the buttons stating "240 calories."

The first of the machines will launch in Chicago and San Antonio municipal buildings in 2013 before appearing nationally.

The ABA said said the machines would also boost the availability of lower- and zero-calorie drinks.

"Market research t says consumers really like this -- they like choice, they like the ability to make choices," said Susan Neely, ABA president

.

Mike Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, backed the move. "Currently, people don't think about calories when they go up to a vending machine," he said. "Having the calories right on the button will help them make choices."

The vending machine move comes ahead of a national US regulation requiring restaurant chains and vending machines to post the information as early as next year. No word yet if similar machines will appear in the UK.

It's all part of an attack on obesity across the US. Last month, New York approved a ban on the sale of sugary drinks over 16 ounces in the city's restaurants, cinemas and stadiums., to take effect next year.

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