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'Healthy' Vending Machine Unveiled as Part of County Anti-Obesity Stance

Water and lower-calories snacks will be available at the county office building in Rockville.

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. 

Joe Thomas October 19, 2012 at 02:15 AM
This vending machine will sit unused for weeks until they quietly take it away. There will be no press conference or media attention. The fatsos will make sure that the real vending machines stay in business.
Darliene Howell October 19, 2012 at 02:31 AM
I would like to recommend the free NAAFA Child Advocacy ToolkitSM (CATK) and other written guidelines/resources to assist you looking at programs. The total health of our nation's children is a serious responsibility. The NAAFA Child Advocacy Toolkit shows how Health At Every Size® takes the focus off weight and directs it to healthful eating and enjoyable movement. It addresses the bullying, building positive self-image and eliminating stigmatization of large children. Additionally, the CATK lists resources available to parents and educators or caregivers for educational materials, curriculum and programming that is beneficial for all children. It can be found at: http://issuu.com/naafa/docs/naafa_childadvocacy2011combined_v04?viewMode=magazine&mode=embed It is my hope that you will take this opportunity to look at the information held in the CATK and keep what is included in mind when making decisions regarding the children in your charge.
Bill Hussein O'Stalin October 19, 2012 at 09:59 AM
The vending machine should have a scale on the floor in front of it. People could then make a healthy informed decision. Also, the county should be required to indicate to the public how much any law they pass will cost the public. Then the public will be informed as to how much all this feel good nonsense actually costs.
Richard Rice October 19, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Bill, Excellent point; however how often do our elected officials really listen to what we have to say???
Bill Hussein O'Stalin October 19, 2012 at 09:14 PM
I'm glad they don't. If they did, many in the public would drop dead from the shock.
Pedsfs October 20, 2012 at 02:23 PM
One vending machine in the County Executive Building was worth a press conference? Imagine what they could say if they took the machines selling Pepsi and Doritos out of the public schools....but then they'd lose the money they make from selling obesity to our kids.
Patricia J. Kelly October 20, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I'm all for trying to eat healthy, I need to loose weight, but the Govt. control is getting out of hand we are banning sodas, fast food joints, cheetos, and many other food items. It's rather odd that lately all the "healthy" food has been in the news such as Peanut Butter and peanut products, bagged salads, cantelope,etc. Have they told us how much toilet paper we can use yet or is that in the works?
Rick October 21, 2012 at 03:53 AM
agreed

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