San Francisco bans coke from city vending machines


112 Responses to “San Francisco bans coke from city vending machines”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t see this making much difference, if you want a sweet drink you are still going to buy one even if you have to walk into a corner store instead of from a vending machine.

    Vending machines where I am located, not sure about this area, are generally very overpriced therefore people generally avoid them anyway.

  2. jabo27 says:

    why do nanny-staters strike me as the ones with the worst judgment who actually do need someone to come in and take the cigarette out of their mouth at the gas pump. you people are the reason there are warnings on toothpick boxes.

    first they came for my lead paint, then they came for my cigarettes, then they came for my HFC. then things were pretty alright.

  3. saber taylor says:

    “Before food can pass from the stomach into the intestines, it must be converted to a liquid soup. [...] This can take up to four hours which markedly delays the rise in blood sugar. Therefore you want to limit foods made from ground-up grains (flour), extracted sugars, and sugars in liquid form including fruit juice, because they can cause the highest rises in blood sugar levels.” –

    eat whole fruit. Got nothing on the controversy though.

  4. Teller says:

    I can’t WAIT to see the reaction to secondhand cell phones.

  5. Friendlybunny says:

    I guess I’m one of the few people who think this is great. If people want to buy and drink that s&*T, let them get it from somewhere else. It sends a good message.

  6. Rider says:

    Not sure how replacing a 120 calorie soda with a 90 calorie soy milk is going to have this drastic affect on health.

    I don’t really see any science behind this attack on “junk food”. Calories are calories, eat to many you gain weight. If you drink 10 bottles of soy milk a day you will gain just as much as you would pounding back sodas.

    If they are worried about health and want to encourage water consumption get rid of all the machines and install a free water fountain.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Not sure how replacing a 120 calorie soda with a 90 calorie soy milk is going to have this drastic affect on health.

      It will if you factor in the suicide rate. It’s death before soy milk for me.

  7. Zan says:

    I don’t understand banning Gatoriade but allowing 100% Juice.

    Gatorade (8oz):
    50 Calories
    14g sugars (sucrose & dextrose)
    14g carbs

    100% Apple Juice (8oz):
    114 Calories
    24g sugars (2:1 fructose to glucose ratio)
    28g carbs

    It’s not hard to tell which one I’d prefer if I were watching my weight (okay, so the real answer is the water fountain, but still).

  8. shannigans says:

    I worked at a company that started a free drink program that made soda far more accessible. Within six months I had packed on 20lbs. Left the job, left the free soda, lost the weight. While the city isn’t giving the soda away for free currently, deterrents such as making someone walk to the c-store for a soda do help many people consume fewer calories. And most people are far too lazy to bring in their own or walk to get one.

  9. Felton says:

    My first thought, of course, was “I had no idea they sold cocaine in SF vending machines.”

  10. mgfarrelly says:

    This is a feel-good measure, a bit of political legerdemain.

    The plain truth is obesity causes are less related to coke machines and more connected to food deserts in urban areas and cheap processed food being more readily available than fresh produce across the country. Those are complex issues requiring a mixture of public and private measures to tackle.

    Banishing Sody-Pop makes politicians look like they’re “taking it seriously”.

    • Aaron Z says:

      Not necessarily. While cheap processed foods obviously has a very large effect, soda should not be discounted. It is huge source of poor calories for a majority of the country with constant consumption. If you cut it out entirely, you would probably see a 20% cumulative weight reduction (or something like that), which is nothing to shake a stick at.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Big Brother reaching out once again – telling us what we can and cannot do. How more invasive will we allow them to get?

  12. zorro869 says:

    This is so wrong on so many levels.

    So let me get this straight: A soda with SUGAR is worse than a Diet with ASPARTAME?

    Nooooo… it’s worse.

    Anything diet is literally poison. Corn Syrup is way better than Aspartame or “AminoSweet” as they call it now.

    Read this before ever drinking a diet drink:

    Personally, I prefer Mexican Coke, that actually uses cane sugar.

  13. abulafia says:

    Hang on! Did someone mention Dr. Mercola and the HuffPo as a ‘medical’ reference here? The anti-vax, homeopathic, raw milk advocate? That Dr. Mercola?

    Surely not: these people?

    As for regulation, the FDA regulates the content of these drinks. Guess who is on the board? Yeah, food manufacturers.

    Natural? Fructose is natural yes. As is alcohol, opium, tobacco, cocaine. Need I go on? Natural doesn’t mean good.

    As for some real science, this from a Prof of Pediatric endocrinology in, wait a minute, SF :

    If you have the attention span to read the article and watch the video (which, I accept, may have too much science for most folks) I’ll be happy to discuss your explanations for obese 6 month old children. Must be all those kids buying burgers. Their own choice huh?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Fruit, when juiced and placed in a bottle, doesn’t typically create high-fructose corn syrup, like soda contains. There have been some research findings pointing pretty heavily at hfcs promoting fat gain more than “normal” forms of sugar, something about satiety and how the body understands the different sugars to affect metabolism. This is a good way to ban hfcs without banning hfcs (and mostly by incentivizing new choices and disincentivizing old choices).

    blah blah blah.

    Also, how many snack/drink machines does this REALLY affect?

    Does this also affect non-automated refrigerators?

    It says city property — that’s going to be fairly limited, right?

    Someone mentioned schools — primary, secondary, post-secondary; are those city facilities proper, or are they something else? And how many machines would the schools have, anyway, provided they are covered?

    What’s nice about this is it doesn’t ban the sale of drinks period, it just limits the inventory of machines themselves. There are still available choices which include sodas, but they have been disincentivized by convenience.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Allowing fruit juices while banning regular soda is magical thinking. See, for instance, this article titled “COMMENTARY Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity” in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition at It says, “Over 60% of the calories in apple juice, which is used as the base for many of the fruit drinks, come from fructose,” and suggests that apple juice-based fruit drinks are co-culprits with HFCS.

    Sodas with HFCS have sugars that are 45 percent glucose and 55 percent fructose; this is by weight not calories. Still, this has to be just about identical to apple juice as a source of fructose. The name “fructose” means “fruit sugar.” It got that name for a reason. If you’re trying to avoid fructose, most fruit drinks won’t help at all.

    But, but… they’re NATURAL.


  16. spearofsolomon says:

    #14, Gatorade has high fructose corn syrup.

    Lisa, your idle insinuation that the measure will be ineffective seems blind to the fact that someone is taking positive action. Perhaps it won’t turn the tide in and of itself, but without enough positive action there can’t possibly be a change.

  17. Anonymous says:

    HURRAY for more government control. Ya its not the fatties fault for being fat. its the soda, or Ronald Mcdonalds fault. How about people own up and stop placing blame elsewhere

  18. nutbastard says:

    Boy, it sure is good San Francisco took care of all that violent crime, theft and vandalism and now has the time and resources to police corn syrup.

    “Choice! The boy has not a real choice, has he?”

    “Padre, there are subtleties! We are not concerned with motives, with the higher ethics. We are concerned only with cutting down obesity and with reducing the ghastly fatties in our populace. He will be your true health-nut, ready to turn the other cheek, ready to be starving rather than indulge, sick to the heart at the thought of drinking a coke. Reclamation! Joy before the angels of God! The point is that it works.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Heart disease kills more people than murderers in the US and surely in SF.

      I don’t have any numbers, but I’d say that obesity leads to more lost money (in lost productivity) than theft, and that obesity causes more social ugliness than vandalism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Now now, no one is going to force your eyes open and force you to watch Coke commercials, as terrible as they truly are. They’re just making HFC-laden swill harder to get.

    • grimc says:

      Yeah, because issuing a directive to city employees in charge of vending machines is exactly like investigating homicides.

  19. Zan says:

    #17: As part of the recent rebranding, they removed HFCS from their products and replaced it with a sucrose/dextrose blend. From a 2009 BevNet article:

    Gatorade spokeswoman Jennifer Schmit confirmed that PepsiCo will remove high fructose corn syrup from all Gatorade products, including G2, and will replace the oft-maligned sweetener with a sucrose/dextrose blend.

  20. Scott Bieser says:

    Why, thank goody-goodness that we poor, stupid, brain-damaged little peons have such wise, benevolent and omniscient over-lords to watch out for us and make us better despite ourselves. Whatever would we do without them?

  21. Mitch says:

    Let’s just drink the sugar free Kool Aid and accept the nanny state. The mayor knows best.

  22. trevcaru says:

    Wow, this is some crazy news to me. The government is going too far.

    Where are our freedoms? Are they not in choice? Do i need the government telling me how to live my life? I eat very healthy and havent had a soda in maybe 10 years, but its my choice.

    Should the government limit our time outside in the sun as well? It causes cancer.

    Sorry, im a big boy, i can make decisions myself without big brother telling me what to do.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are not banning you from drinking pop. They are simply no longer willing to use public resources (space, time, maybe even money) to put vending machines with unhealthy drinks in them on city property.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Mister Newsom, when are you gonna prohibit smoking in San Francisco ?!
    20 feet rule doesn’t work and you know it – we are choking here, like in a gas chamber !!!

  24. mauiflis says:

    Citizens should probably object to the city using using PUBLIC vending machines, which they pay to use (purchase items) to push cancer-causing diet drinks, high calorie sugary fruit juices, minus their vitamins and fiber (in processing) and the highly processed not really very healthy nut and bean “milks”. Even bottled water has its issues, if you read the studies. Contamination, or at best, it’s plain tap water.

    orr….here’s a thought, let the people decide what they want their tax dollars to buy for the vending machines they’ll use. I don’t use vending machines, and I don’t expect my government to provide me with ones that have homemade kombucha, or fresh organic salads, or green tea with stevia and fresh lemon. This is just another step toward govt. censorship of what we eat, wear, read, write and buy. It’s getting quite scary, really.

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      The Government must make decisions, amongst which is what to stock in whatever vending machines they may own or have control over.

      This scares you?
      You scare easily.
      I think you’d be scared of any effective Government policy whatsoever.

      Does religion scare you?
      Why not?

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      Oh another point: people vote for politicians to decide how to raise and spend public revenue.
      That’s HOW “the People” decide how to use public resources.
      Why else do you think corporAtions and others seek to control or influence elections?
      For power: in the spending of public monies.
      On weapons of war, prisons, high-tech police gear, surveillance technologies, wealthy people’s “bonuses”.
      hat’s what US politicians have spent a LOT of tax dollars on recently, anyhow.

      The public has decided for now. Wait until the next election, and then try to persuade it to vote for people who promise to make decisions that you think you would approve of.

  25. Anonymous says:

    If it were anywhere else I imagine the sales from vending machines on public property would go way down. But since it’s in SF, I imagine they’ll make a killing.

  26. Atvaark says:

    What about people who are in good health because they’ve always been reasonable regarding food, meaning they like to drink a soda from time to time, which doesn’t hurt cause it’s just, you know, sugar.

    Are people immature enough that we have to take sugar away from them cause they don’t know what the right dose is? Taking things away has never educated anybody.

  27. RogueModron says:

    Seriously, the amount of “O NOES IT MUST BE LIBERAL FASCISM” hooey in this thread is astonishing.

    Read the post again. The directive is to provide a variety of choices of different items, in the few vending machines that are on city property. Previously the soda machines that were out there were just that – soda only. You had your choice of coke, dr pepper, sprite, and diet coke. The purpose of this is letting San Franciscans have the choice of better options at city-funded machines.

    Maybe the trolls would prefer that people had no choice? It sure sounds like it.

    • leighj says:

      If the people wanted those items, why did they not simply ask for them? I don’t know about you but if I had a bunch of people saying they wanted soy milk in the vending machine, I’d be all over it.

      Instead I am not being dictated what I should drink. I would have preferred saying that there must be additional choices.

      Rather than eliminating choices why could they not have additional choices?

  28. Anonymous says:

    I don’t mind the loss of soda as long as they leave my cigarette vending machines alone!

  29. Anonymous says:

    I still fail to understand why High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is even allowed in the food chain without a massive “vice” tax.

    If you hate paternalism and government intervention then you should also know that HFCS is cheap because your tax money is used to subsidy corn production.

    Removing subsidies on corn might be unpractical but at least recover what is lost on corn from HFCS should be a start.

  30. haroldmiller4mayorc0m says:

    My name is Harold Miller and as mayor of San Francisco I will see fat as an enemy of San Francisco but I don’t want the good people to be afraid of living the way they want, so lets just give them a choice and not a commanded.

  31. Moriarty says:

    This has nothing to do with freedom. They aren’t banning soda. The city has just stopped selling it. That’s a huge difference. Libertarians should not have a problem with this.

  32. UncaScrooge says:

    Where I work, the vending machine is the only food option and it is chock full of junk. By the logic of the folks who have posted above, that’s Corporate Fascism Run Amuck! A jackboot fulla Snickers descends endlessly on my face.

    The Capitalist Overlords have determined against my will that I must be overweight! If only there were some rational alternative to submitting to their draconian rule. Nope, diabetes ahoy!

  33. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Atvaark. If it was an elementary school*, that would be one thing, but all vending machines on all city property? Let people make their own decisions. The people who drink this stuff every day, will just get it from some other place, and those of us who just want to buy the occasional pop will be inconvenienced.

    *I live in Canada and have never seen a vending machine or a cafeteria in any elementary school school, although I hear some schools have them. We always just packed our lunches from home. I still do the same thing, even now that I work. Saves a lot of money, and I eat a lot healthier.

  34. spearofsolomon says:

    #20 – Thanks, now I can drink Gatorade again. What about sodium – isn’t Gatorade big on “electrolytes”? I don’t mind sodium that much but some people avoid it.

    I think I would still prefer to drink something natural vs a concoction. Before 8 pm, that is.

    • Chesterfield says:

      spearofsolomon, “natural” has about as much meaning as “gourmet”. They are now only marketing words.

      Other than water or perhaps fruit juice you have squeezed yourself, what are the non-concoction choices? Perhaps a nice hemlock potion? That would be all natural.

  35. Anonymous says:

    People like to say how private owners can do what they like so the city can allow what they want in the vening machines they own. That said, I don’t care for the paternalistic mentality that is ever growing in this country (and even worse in the UK). Between deciding what you can do with your body to using 9/11 as a perpetual excuse for authoritarianism it is drifting out of control.

    If they want to discourage it just show a life size picture of the sugar in each can and how long you’d have to walk to burn it off. That would probably scare your average San Franciscoan more than anything else.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Surely that counts as restraint of trade?

    M’learned friends should have a field day with this one…

  37. MsCaballoVerde says:

    Good for you, SF.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s OK for the city or for any private business to decide not to sell junk food on it’s premises. It’ll be all right. Do all those in favor of junk food want to go back to selling cigarettes in vending machines? People who want to smoke can still smoke.

  39. talkToTheHat says:

    I wonder how long it is before someone with type one diabetes can’t get glucose in an emergency and dies of hypoglycemia next to a vending machine full of diet products.

    • Brainspore says:

      If you die of hypoglycemia next to a vending machine full of juice drinks then you either don’t have enough change or you’re just being picky.

  40. jordan says:

    It’s best to just see this for what it is: a CYA move to deflect accusations of hypocrisy. Newsom’s City Hall can’t wave the anti-obesity flag while the city effectively sells soft drinks.

    A more effective measure, though, would be to have all Amazon and Woot deliveries to SF required to be dropped off atop Telegraph Hill for buyers to collect, and ban motor traffic in that part of North Beach!

  41. deathbypapercut says:

    This is an affront against open market, and just enforces the current downward spiral of lacking self-control or self-responsibility.

  42. Rider says:

    So we subsidized corn to save the farming industry and no we start blaming every problem in the world on corn syrup.

    So now we subsidize soy beans and we are going to replace the corn syrup with soy milk a product that has a number of questionable health affects.

    This country is getting insanely silly.

    Seems to me like the soy lobby has a better PR firm than the corn lobby.

  43. Dan Mac says:

    Ha, we in Vancouver passed this milestone years ago. We got rid of plastic water bottles a while ago too.Why just today, the city has opened the floodgates to a whole new bunch of street food vendors. But the food must be ethnically diverse and morally pure:

  44. LeoTs3181983 says:

    There’s nothing like a Diet Coke in a large souvenir cup with your meal at AT&T Park!

  45. Smarty Pants says:

    This is nothing but totalitarianism in government. Since when does any local government in the United States have a right to tell people what kind of food they can or cannot consume? Keep out of the personal lives of people. Lawsuits against the City of San Francisco must follow for this ridiculous ordinance or law.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Its just an excuse for profiling fat people. The city can’t legally discriminate against them so the slenderests of San Francisco will make the city less attractive to people of width.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Because fat people will flee the region if they can’t buy Coke in a couple of vending machines? Is that why people move to SF? For the vending machine Coke?

  47. Aloisius says:

    In related news, healthcare costs for San Francisco city employees expected to plummet as city employees all lose 10 lbs.

    Seriously though, sweet drinks are ridiculous. They don’t make you feel full even though they contain a large number of calories and I see no reason why any business who pays for their employee’s healthcare and actually cares about their well being wouldn’t stop offering them altogether.

    Consumer’s still have the right to choose… they can choose to bring sweet drinks from home.

  48. Anonymous says:

    But Chris Daily has mentioned Gavin’s love of Coke in Board of Supervisors meetings. When did he quit?

  49. ifthenwhy says:

    A “neat” idea?

    A big Whatever to that. Actually It’s a wildly absurd idea.

    Who empowered the local government the ability to dictate how convenient my food choices should be?

    I wonder what other choices will they make for my “benefit”.

    Newsome is the worst mayor SF has seen in over 50 years, and that’s saying ALOT.

  50. Bimmi says:

    This is exactly the sort of well-meaning but heavy-handed paternalism that has helped to establish the “liberal=fascist” meme in this country, and I’m sure the Gasbag Right will be on it like flies on shit.

    That added fact it solves nothing, as detailed above, is just the depressing cherry on top of the high-fructose sundae.

    • Brainspore says:

      This is exactly the sort of well-meaning but heavy-handed paternalism that has helped to establish the “liberal=fascist” meme in this country…

      Yep, the first thing Hitler did was ban Fanta machines from the Reichstag.

      (Does it count as a Godwin if someone else brings up fascism first?)

  51. Teller says:

    The SF Mayor and Board of Supervisors rarely do anything for the ‘public good.’ They have an inexhaustible need to out-preen, out-pose and out-progressive each other. Tards, the lot of ‘em.

  52. lionelbrits says:

    Are schools considered public property?

  53. Xenu says:

    Makes sense; if the feds won’t handle the obesity crisis, it’s time to take it to the city level.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m uncomfortable with paternalism of this sort just on principle.

      • flukz says:

        I agree. I’m an adult, I don’t need Gavin to tell me what beverage I can consume.

        Also, the estrogenic effects of soy are not well known, which is kinda heeby. I’ve personally tried to milk both soy bean and rice kernel with zero results, so I suspect there may be some dubious chemical process to create them.

        • Brainspore says:

          I’m an adult, I don’t need Gavin to tell me what beverage I can consume.

          But you do need him to sell it to you?

        • Anonymous says:

          Soymilk is very easy to make at home, using nothing but soybeans and water. Perhaps you were doing it wrong.

          That being said, a lot of commercial soy milk is “fortified” with extra stuff to make it more “nutritious”, and the more a product is processed the less your body tends to get out of it.

  54. tubacat says:

    “Plus if a person wants to be be heavy, enjoys washing Twinkies down with a sweet and snappy Coke then they should be free to do so.”

    “Washing down Twinkies” evokes some very dark days in the history of SF city buildings, ie, the assassination of George Moscone and Harvey milk (the murderer got off by claiming a sugar high from eating Twinkies). I’m not assuming the poster knew that; it just struck me.

    It’s strange to see people posting as if the choice to buy sugar water out of a convenient machine was some kind of protected right – they clearly don’t realize that the food industry has systematically and successfully herded us to eat and drink the most unhealthy things (highly recommend “The End of Overeating” by David Kessler).

    I applaud this action, which is in character for San Francisco, which has it’s own “public option” health insurance program and other great efforts at keeping the population healthy.

  55. Anonymous says:

    I think this might end up hurting the city more than it will help prevent obesity. People will just purchase their sodas elsewhere, meaning less money the city will get from vending machines.

  56. bbbaldie says:

    I spent four years in California. It struck me as a state where your everyday habits are micromanaged by the guv’ment, breaking any driving laws results in the stiffest imaginable penalties, and murderers get three years, rapists two, and they all get relocated by the state after their release.

    Glad I’m outa there…

    • UncaScrooge says:

      California is similarly delighted that you were relocated.

    • nutbastard says:

      you said it. carpool lane violation: $450.

      55mph in a 50mph zone: $260

      Jaywalking: $150

      Oddly enough, the only one I was able to beat was the carpool lane violation, although I had to skip work TWICE because the cop didn’t show up the first time… then didn’t show up again.

      Got out of a 105mph in a 65 zone a few years ago – but the fine was only $950. I say “only” because 5 measly mph over cost me $260. (hired a lawyer for $1k who managed to find records of the lidar malfunctioning during subsequent calibration… cop was stupid not to show up since in his notes it clearly says he paced me for ~1/2 mile.

      The jaywalking ticket was on easter morning at 10am (not a soul around) *in a god damn crosswalk*, but we crossed against the almighty ‘red hand’. because a couple of fucking adults can’t be trusted to cross the street. in broad daylight. with no traffic. they then proceeded to shake us down, tried to search us, tried to say we were high, all this shit.

  57. Juno the Loon says:

    I think this might hurt the city more than it will help deter obesity. People who work there will instead bring in their own sodas, purchased elsewhere, meaning that the city will get less money from vending machines.

  58. Teller says:

    It seems like a good idea until you drop a Mentos in a soy milk.

  59. Matt Staggs says:

    What about Slurm? Slurm still okay?

  60. Anonymous says:

    Jeez people, no freedoms are being trampled here.

    Buy your friggin’ drinks at the gas station or convenience store on your way to work. They probably have a fridge at work where you can store it to keep it cold.

  61. Anonymous says:

    It’s really stupid to allow diet sodas at all especially for kids since artificial sweeteners are linked to a myriad of problems, all on the same level or worse as obesity. ADHD for example.

  62. Rob says:

    Fruit Juice has as many calories (122 / 8 Oz for OJ, 117 / 8 Oz for Apple). It’s not quite as empty as soda, but calories is calories. Someone drinking X cans of non-diet soda switching to X cans of fruit juice is not going to have any change in weight gain.

  63. Mitch says:

    I have a better idea: Let the people who work in city owned buildings buy whatever drinks they want from the vending machines. Let the companies that operate sell whatever products their customers want to buy.

    It would be appropriate for the city to recommend healthier drinks, ask that they be available as an option, and provide drinking water free of charge.
    I hate soda but if people want to drink it they don’t need the city to act as a parent to keep them from buying it on the premises.

    • grimc says:

      I have even a better idea: Take vending machines out altogether. Then I don’t have to hear you whine about not having a Pepsi machine violating your right to…whatever, and you don’t have to watch me roll my eyes.

      • Mitch says:

        And let the person who services the machines go on unemployment? No thanks. The machines are in buildings because it is profitable to operate them. It is profitable to operate them because they sell products people want. If something works, don’t change it. If people want soy milk, then let the machines be stocked with soy milk!

        • mdh says:

          and ammunition!

        • Ugly Canuck says:

          That’s right Mitch.
          Stock them with a full selection of bum wines:

        • grimc says:

          Municipal vending machines take business from cornershops and hot dog carts. Why are you so eager to give the government money at the expense of small business? SOSHULIZM!

          • Mitch says:

            Have you ever tried to fit a hot dog cart in an elevator? Vending machines fill a niche catering to people who wish to buy snacks and drinks without leaving the premises, and they are operated by private companies.

            Why is it the city’s job to watch people’s weight, anyway? What happened to personal responsibility?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Let the companies that operate sell whatever products their customers want to buy.

      But it doesn’t work that way. The machines in San Francisco are stocked with what people in DemographicAverage, Ohio want to buy.

      • Chesterfield says:

        Wow Antinous. Normally I agree with you, but here… you are entirely wrong.

        These machines are normally installed and serviced by local people. They are going to fill the machine with whatever makes them the most money. Branded machines have less flexibility, but talk to your vendor and they can probably get you a non-branded machine and fill it with whatever you want – as long as it will sell and make the person enough money. If they won’t find a different vendor.

        Secondly, what’s with the midwestern hate? It’s snarky and uncalled for. Spend some time in the midwest and if you do so without prejudice, I think you’ll find that the people there are friendly and unpretentious. In fact, the fine residents of DemographicAverage, Ohio share far more similarities than differences with residents of your city.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          Secondly, what’s with the midwestern hate?

          It’s not midwestern hate. It’s hate for the fact that I can’t buy garden supplies at Costco in October when it’s 100° here because national stores stock based on an imaginary average US city. And that imaginary city has the leaves down and the Christmas decorations up by Halloween.

          They are going to fill the machine with whatever makes them the most money.

          It’s pretty standard practice for most businesses to sell what they can buy cheaply in quantity rather than what the customers want. They’re pretty safe in assuming that their customers won’t go elsewhere because elsewhere carries the same quantity of the same products at the same prices.

          A local company in SF that was seriously trying to cater to the local buyers would have tofu salad sandwiches on gluten-free bread in its vending machines. People there really eat that stuff.

      • Mitch says:

        Oh, do you know this for a fact? I didn’t know you had experience running a vending machine company!

        Of course if we let people make their own choices they might choose something bad! We can’t let that happen!

  64. Mitch says:

    1. The vending machines are most likely operated by a private company which can do it more efficiently than the city.

    2. If someone wants a Pepsi during their 15 minute break there isn’t time to go to a store to get it, now is there?

    Let people buy whatever they want to drink.

  65. Micah says:

    NYC schools has been implementing anti-obesity vending machine requirements for both beverages and snacks over the last couple years and has managed to drastically reduce the number of calories sold to children through those machines.

    Of course it still doesn’t solve the problem of people eating and drinking crap, since the big food companies simply develop new products that are as bad for you as possible under the new requirements. But that’s a lot less bad for you than the crap that was sold in those machines a few years ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s hard to counteract the marketing forces of corporate business, but I support any ways we can reduce the prevalence of high sugar content drinks in our society.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Yay nanny state! More than that, yay individuals who are unwilling or unable to take personal responsibility for what they do!

    Can you say “societal regression?”

    Kyrie freakin’ eleison.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Hi Xenu,
    Why should the government handle the obesity crisis? If this doesn’t come down to personal responsibility nothing does. Plus if a person wants to be be heavy, enjoys washing Twinkies down with a sweet and snappy Coke then they should be free to do so.

    • Micah says:

      Plus if a person wants to be be heavy, enjoys washing Twinkies down with a sweet and snappy Coke then they should be free to do so.

      1) Should they put cigarette vending machines back as well?

      2) If, however, you still think we should make easy access to poisonous “food” products a right, then we should probably stop providing Medicare and Medicaid coverage to people with certain kinds of diabetes, heart disease, etc. that are almost entirely preventable. Because I don’t want my tax dollars to pay for the consequences of someone else’s Twinkie habit.

  68. Marcel says:

    You want slim people?

    Ban cars.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ll drink (a rice milk) to that! Ban oil burning cars. We should have been moving away from that $h!t 30 years ago. (in fact a road we didn’t even need to go down – in 1900 28% of cars on the road were electric!) Our species is only just on the verge of graduating from galactic kindergarten. Lets hope the kinders don’t completely trash the garten.

    • grimc says:

      Ever try to find a parking spot in SF?

      It’s basically a car ban.

    • Anonymous says:


      A car ban would be a bit authoritarian, but we could take all the public money going to road construction, maintenance, traffic cops, lights, signs, land, drivers license/registration/insurance regulation, auto safety testing, etc and spend it on rail and bike paths instead. Make drivers pay the full costs of road infrastructure themselves.

      Drivers also need to pay for the health and environmental destruction caused by their pollution. Either they should pay a gas tax to internalize the economic externalities of their pollution, or they should be open to lawsuits from anyone those cancer or asthma may be petrol related and anyone who has been displaced due to climate change.

      “Private” auto use often entails more public money than “public transit” and always entails more public suffering due to externalities (namely habitat loss, pollution, accident related deaths and injuries, social atomization due to auto driven sprawl, and the original point: obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc due to lack of exercise) It’s time we get our priorities straight and only fund transportation systems that are safe, sustainable, and efficient.

      Of course that would entail electing politicians that act in the public interest and not in the interests of private corporations. SF is probably one of the only places in the US where this might be possible.

  69. Anonymous says:

    What they don’t mention is that processed soy (such as soy milk) is worse than anything else that they’re taking out of the machines, not for obesity, but for bloody cancer. All this is is shifting the blame and forcing your own beliefs about a healthy diet down other people’s throats.

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