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Chicago Workers To Get Healthier Options In Soda Machines

Rahm Emanuel attends wellness challenge event with American Beverage Association. (Credit: Craig Dellimore/WBBM Newsradio)

Rahm Emanuel attends wellness challenge event with American Beverage Association. (Credit: Craig Dellimore/WBBM Newsradio)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The City of Chicago is teaming up with the soda industry to help city employees make healthier choices.

Major soda makers, like Coke and Pepsi, and the American Beverage Association are launching a wellness challenge.

Next year, city workers will have access to soda machines that include more low-calorie drinks. The machines will display calorie information so people can make healthier choices.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel applauds the move saying it will help workers make smarter choices and help combat obesity and other health problems.

“If you basically put aside personal responsibility, you’re missing the core ingredient for improving health care outcomes,” he said.

American Beverage Association president Susan Neeley doesn’t deny this initiative comes has New York City bans large-sized sugary drinks and other cities consider new taxes.

“We think these kind of things are going to get a lot further faster than bans or fights over discriminatory taxes, which there is research that shows will not work,” she said.

The new wellness challenge also will pit Chicago and San Antonio against each other to see who can be the healthiest city and lose the most weight.

The beverage industry is putting up a $5 million prize.

The ‘healthy choice” vending machines will eventually be made available nationwide.

LISTEN: WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports