Posting calorie counts on vending machines is an idea I like much better than New York City’s ban on large-sized sodas to help curb the overconsumption of sugary beverages.

Starting in 2013, major soda and sugary beverage producers like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group will display the calorie counts of each beverage on the vending machine so consumers are aware of the number of calories in each container, according to Time magazine. This is an effort to get consumers to chose lower-calorie beverages and perhaps make a dent in the obesity epidemic.

The calories in a 16-ounce bottle of non-diet soda can run anywhere from 150-200 calories, depending on the soda. When sodas and other sugary beverages are in a vending machine, consumers can't look at the nutrition label before buying. By placing the calorie count on the machine — better yet on the button that needs to be pushed — consumers have no choice but to notice how many calories they are about to consume.

I wonder if vending-machine operators will chose to put smaller bottles of full-sugar sodas and other beverages in their machines if they notice that the larger bottles are being passed over for diet and other low-calorie beverages?

This vending machine calorie labeling could do naturally what the New York City large-soda ban is forcing: people end up choosing smaller sodas because they're educated and informed, not legislated to do so.

Would calories posted on vending machine beverages affect which button you push on the machine?

Related story on MNN: 9 yummy drinks for fall and winter (Sorry, no calorie counts here)

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

New vending machines will display soda calorie counts
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