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Chicago, San Antonio Vie for ABA Grant

CHICAGO — City workers here will compete against their counterparts in San Antonio for a $5 million grant from the American Beverage Association to see which workforce is healthier, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

The contest is part of an effort to emphasize personal responsibility over soda bans and taxes on sugary drinks.

The ABA, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro also announced a new Calories Count Vending Program Monday. Caloric information will be posted on vending machines as part of the initiative involving The Coca-Cola Co., Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and PepsiCo. It will launch in 2013 on more than 500 vending machines in municipal buildings in Chicago and San Antonio.

More news: Soda Ban Could Affect Supermarkets

“These vending machines will allow Chicago’s workers to make healthy choices and good decisions, in keeping with their individual wellness goals,” Mayor Emanuel said in a statement. “I am pleased that Chicago is one of the first cities in the country to offer these machines that help to promote healthy lifestyles.”

Under the Calories Count program, the ABA will work with government leaders, food service operators, vending companies and others to: 

  • Increase availability of lower-calorie beverages in vending machines.
  • Display a Calories Count vending snipe on the front of vending machines reminding consumers to “Check then Choose” and “Try a Low-Calorie Beverage.”
  • Add calorie labels to the selection buttons to show calorie counts per container.
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