Two problems…calorie count is not a deterrent and the nanny state needs to let people do what they do…make their own choices (even if they are lousy ones).

…the Affordable Care Act is infiltrating vending machines.

Yup, vending machines.  Nancy was right…you have to read it to know what utter flatulence is in it.  I don’t care much for vending machine snacks.  I just never developed that craving for sugary sweets or high fat caloried foods.  It’s probably because I only got .5 a day for that warm 1/2 pint of milk at lunch.  Well, that is another story.

It does gall me that zerocare will now force these small business companies into advertising calorie content.  Will an added nickel or dime to that snack really deter that ravenous teen?  Better yet, ever had to wait for a flight that was late and you didn’t eat breakfast?  I’ll take the bagged Cheetos over a mysterious looking sandwich that has been sitting behind the counter for questionable hours any day.

Why does the FDA think that they know better about everything?  It is not a mystery, I know exactly what cell on my rearend that M&M will adhere to.  That said, it is my choice to let it go there.  Do you think that any member of the choom gang would have been deterred by a calorie count?

Image courtesy The Washington Examiner

During an interview on CSPAN’s Book TV Sunday, “Barack Obama: The Story” author David Maraniss unveiled a photo of a young Barack Obama posing with his infamous pot-smoking “Choom Gang.”

Putting a calorie content on it won’t make a difference to me, but might just send someone with an eating disorder over the cliff. 

Yep, a provision in the Affordable Care Act requires vending machines to display the calorie content of all food items. The FDA finalized the regulations April 3.

If you know the calorie content of an item, you might make a more healthy choice. Or so the thinking goes.

Obviously, hungry teens will be forced into reading calorie content (but they can’t read well enough for a high enough score on that SAT).  But I digress, the real cost is to these small vending machine companies.

The agency admits 95 percent of the companies affected by the new rules are small businesses, such as Ohio’s Enterprise Refreshment Solutions.

Chris Heaton, director of sales for Enterprise Vending Inc., said his company can now begin to calculate costs. It won’t be cheap.

“It’s an investment without any return to the company,” Heaton said.

If the FDA estimates of less than $10 per vending machine for compliance costs are accurate, “the impact to Enterprise will be close to $500,000 annually.”

Call me cynical, but is the goal to put these companies out of business by impacting them in this way?

Based on industry estimates of one vending machine for every 40 adults, the total cost for Ohio businesses could be more than $2.2 million each year.

Nationally, the FDA estimated businesses will incur $40 million in additional costs — $25.8 million for initial implementation with a “recurring cost of approximately $24 million.”

Does the  FDA expect vending companies to eat the cost of the regulation?

We all know that answer…dig deeper into your pockets people.

“Unfortunately, that is realistic to expect,” Heaton said. “Just knowing the industry, the costs and the prices, there will be companies that struggle with the cost, the needed manpower, the labor and the printing to be able to cover the mandate with their current prices.”

He doesn’t think his competition will allow Enterprise to pass along the costs.

Under the rules, any person or business who owns or operates 20 or more vending machines must provide a “clear and conspicuous statement disclosing the number of calories contained” in the food being sold. That means a sign or other notice on or near the food item.

Why didn’t zerocare think of something simple like using a carnival distortion mirror next to the snack?  I’m kidding.  You and I were teens at one time (yes, even during the createous period).  We ate what we wanted.  If we got .50 to eat lunch, we’d sneak out to McDonalds and purchase a mystery meat burger with greasy fries with a sugary drink.  We’re still here.   What’s next?  Playing,  “Go, you chicken fat, go!” when you hit that Fritos’ tab?  If you are too young to remember this song, listen up…it’s 1963 and JFK says you need to work out (shades of FLOTUS Let’s Move?).