TODAY

TODAY   |  December 30, 2013

Vending machines will now display calorie counts

One requirement of President Obama’s health food law is that calorie information must be posted on about 5 million vending machines, at a cost to vending machine companies of $10 per machine each year, according to FDA estimates.

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>>> it will soon be hard to miss one little known requirement of president obama 's health care law . it's designed to help you make smarter snack food choices. nbc's joe fryer has more.

>>> if the calorie count for the stuff on the other side of the vending machine glass seems like a mystery. just wait. as part of the healthcare overhaul, calorie information will be posted on vending someones. welcoming to some.

>> it's a good idea. there's a lot of things i go to eat that i shouldn't be eating.

>> horrifying to others.

>> when i go to a vending machine i know i'm not doing something healthy and i don't need to be told.

>> reporter: many fast food restaurants already post calorie information while early research shows most customers don't pay attention to those numbers, one study found those who do eat a little less.

>> it doesn't have to be hard science to see that this is a good idea. information is there. you can use it or choose to ignore it.

>> reporter: vending machine companies fear the changes are too costly and won't change many habits.

>> in the vending industry, the best sellers in our machines are the junk food and the high calorie drinks.

>> reporter: the fda estimates the changing will cost vending companies nearly $10 per year per machine. what's harder to predict is how many calories customers might subtract from their diets. nbc news, los angeles .