What's exactly in a "healthy" vending machine? The usual assortment of snacks and drinks to quench savory and sweet cravings are still available. Only, in the "2BU" vending machine recently unveiled in the Montgomery County executive office building in Rockville, pop chips and mineral water replace Doritos and Pepsi.
It's part of the county's plan to get residents to lighten up—literally.
“Montgomery County is not immune from the obesity epidemic,” said County Executive Leggett. “The reasons are many but food choice is one way that we can begin to make a difference and reverse the trend. I am committed to helping build a healthier workforce and a healthier community.”
The machine will be available to county workers and visitors. It will display not only food, but also nutritional information and, according to a release from the county, "the duration of physical activity needed to burn the calories consumed."
Council Member George Leventhal, who chairs the health and human services committee, said public workers have to lead by example.
"If county government is to take seriously its goal of fostering a healthier workforce, it has to start with itself," he said. "These new vending machine food choices will result in healthier, happier and more productive employees."
A task force to reduce the number of obese and overweight people in Montgomery County called the Obesity Prevention Strategy is behind the project. Data from county government says that more than half of county adults may be overweight or obese. For children, the percentage is just over one-third.
Learn more about the prevention strategy by heading to www.healthymontgomery.org and clicking the "obesity" link.