Prince George’s Co. passes bill requiring healthier food in vending machines

WASHINGTON — A bill requiring healthier snacks in vending machines was passed unanimously by the Prince George’s County Council Tuesday.

The bill requires 50 percent of the options in vending machines to meet American Heart Association standards for sugar, salt, fat and other ingredients. The bill also requires all drink machines to offer water.

Only vending machines in county-owned buildings will be affected.

More than 60 percent of deaths in Prince George’s County are caused by heart disease, stroke and diabetes, according to a statement from Sugar Free Kids. A Prince George’s County health report lists heart disease as a leading cause of death in 2014, with diabetes as the fourth.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker is next in line to sign the bill. If he does, the county will have 45 days to enforce it.

Montgomery County passed a similar measure in April.

WTOP’s Lisa Weiner contributed to to this report from Washington.

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