Target: Margaret A. Hamburg, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration
Goal: Applaud law requiring vending machines to be labeled with nutritional information so consumers can make healthy choices
Vending machines are a quick, cheap, and convenient way to get a snack on-the-go. They are especially great for people like students or office workers, who might not have any other options around. Unfortunately, the food that is most suited to use in a vending machine–nonperishable single-serving snacks–are generally not the healthiest options available. A new health care law which originated under the health care reforms that President Obama has helped initiate would require that vending machines be labeled with nutritional information about the snacks they contain.
The law would affect over five million vending machines all over the country, and would be helpful to consumers who might be unaware of the nutritional information in the snacks. Similar laws have been employed in certain cities for fast-food chains like McDonald’s.
Some people do not think it is the government’s business to dictate their snack choices, but this law has nothing to do with what food is available in the vending machines. Instead, it simply gives accurate information about the calorie content of the food, which is a huge help to individuals who might be unaware of how many calories are in the snacks they consume.
Please applaud lawmakers for helping bring about this change. It is overdue and will be of great assistance to people who supplement their diet at vending machines.
Dear Margaret A. Hamburg,
As you are well aware, the nutritional content of food is not widely advertised at vending machines. While some people do not care about what they eat, it is undeniable that America is suffering from a lack of education about health and diet. Updating vending machines to contain nutritional information about the food that they offer is a vital way to helping break down barriers that prevent many people from eating healthy food.
The new labeling law is an excellent way to start making progress toward educating people like students and office workers, who are often among the most overstressed and crunched for time users of vending machines. The labeling law is also great because it puts the power in the hands of the consumer, so people who wish to eat certain foods can continue to do so, while those who want to eat healthier can have the chance to do that, too.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nenyedi via Wikimedia