Council, Mayor propose healthy vending machine options
SEATTLE — The Seattle City Council is considering legislation to increase the amount of healthy options in vending machines operated on City property. The majority of these machines only serve city employees.
“We are committed to providing healthier choices for our employees,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “This partnership with Seattle & King County Public Health is only the latest of our efforts to support a healthy work place. I thank Councilmember Conlin for his leadership on this issue.”
“This is one way that we can support healthy and productive City employees,” states Councilmember Richard Conlin, sponsor of the legislation. “Healthy vending provides opportunities for City employees to consume more nutritious food and beverages while at work.”
Council Bill 117710 requires all vending machines operated on City Property to stock “Healthier” and “Healthiest” food and beverage selections as defined by Public Health Seattle & King County “King County Healthy Vending Guidelines.” These standards are based upon calories, fat, sugar and sodium content.
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.
“Vending machines with healthier snacks create more readily available healthy options,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “I applaud the City of Seattle for leading institutional changes that promote health.”
Obesity and poor nutrition are serious problems in King County. Approximately half the adult population in Seattle is overweight or obese. Overweight adults are at greater risk for numerous serious health outcomes that place a large burden on the health care system and increase health care costs, including type two diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, certain cancers, asthma, arthritis and other debilitating diseases.