Seattle: 50% of snacks in city vending machines must be 'healthy'

SEATTLE -- The Seattle City Council on Monday unanimously adopted a bill requiring all vending machines operated on city property to stock at least 50 percent “healthier” and “healthiest” food and beverage selections as defined by Public Health Seattle & King County.

The “healthiest” category include fresh or dehydrated vegetables, fresh or dehydrated fruit, whole grain cereals, low-fat popcorn, unsalted nuts or seeds, fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt and other items.

The "healthier" items include such things as baked potato chips, frozen fruit juice bars, whole grain crackers, pretzels, corn chips, etc.

To see a list of the guidelines, click here.

“We are working to do our part to support healthier choices for those who want them,” Mayor Mike McGinn said. “I thank Councilmember (Richard) Conlin for his leadership on this issue and I look forward to continuing to work with him to improve access to healthier food choices for our employees and all Seattle residents.”

Conlin, sponsor of the healthy vending machine legislation, issued the following statement after the vote, “Healthy vending helps to make the healthy choice the easy choice. This is one way that we can support healthy and productive city employees. City employees will now have more opportunities to consume more nutritious food and beverages while at work.”

Seattle’s Department of Parks and Recreation has led the way by successfully implementing the King County Healthy Vending Guidelines of “Healthier” and “Healthiest” choices in all vending machines in city park facilities in 2010.