SACRAMENTO, CA -- California lawmakers have introduced a bill that would mandate that at least 50% of the food sold through vending machines on state property meet accepted nutritional guidelines by Jan. 1, 2015. The proposed legislation (AB 459) would then require 75% compliance with the guidelines by 2016, and 100% compliance by 2017. The bill would also require that 100% of vended beverages on state property meet the accepted nutritional guidelines by 2016.
Beverages approved under the proposed guidelines include water and carbonated water products without added caloric sweeteners; 1%, 2% or fat-free milk, and nondairy alternatives with no added caloric sweeteners; 100% fruit juices and 100% vegetable juices (with a 200mg. sodium cap). Fruit-based drinks with at least 50% fruit juice, limited to 12-fl.oz. containers and containing no added caloric sweeteners also qualify as "healthy" under the proposed rules.
Sports drinks also meet the criteria, provided they contain no more than 42g. of added sweetener per 20-fl.oz. serving. Rounding out the options are calorie-free unsweetened or artificially sweetened beverages.
Under the proposed rules, "healthy" snacks sold through vending machines would contain no more than the following: 35% of total calories from fat, 10% of total calories from saturated fat and 35% of total weight from sugar. There would be exceptions for nuts, whole-grain products and individually wrapped cheese, among other foods.
Additionally, the guidelines would require that snack selections in vending machines be free of trans fat, and not exceed 200 calories or 230mg. of sodium per serving. Individual entrée items could contain no more than 500 calories per serving and 480mg. of sodium.