If you’re hungry and live in Oregon you won’t be able to grab a Snickers if HB3403 passes. The bill, put forth by State Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer D-Portland, wants to ban candy bars and other sugar snacks from vending machines in public buildings.
Most items aside from diet sodas and low-calorie, low-sugar and low-fat snacks would get the boot from vending machines if the ban is passed. That means no more “regular” Coke, Dr. Pepper, cookies and other necessary energy boosters most consumer around 3:00 p.m. each day.
Rep. Keny-Guyer’s bill would only deem snacks under 200 calories, main meals under 450 calories, trans fat-free items and snacks that derive less than 35 percent of their total calories from fat or sugar appropriate for sale in public vending machines.
(Nuts and seeds are allowed, in some cases. Yogurt is allowed, too, if the sugar content is low. Vending machine coffee is only allowable if low-fat or fortified soy milk.)
This new proposed ban should not come as a surprise to Oregonians as their school children have already watched their full-fat, normal potato chips, soft drinks and chocolate bars disappear. (In 2007, Oregon limited the sale of junk food in public schools.)
While these changes are worth supporting, there’s a big difference between helping people make healthier choices and making the choices for them. Selling healthier vending machine options alongside unhealthy options allows for choices to be made. Not selling full fat potato chips or sodas that contain sugar takes the choice away completely.