Trimming the fat off of Ouachita Parish vending machines - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Trimming the fat off of Ouachita Parish vending machines

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)-  Tuesday in a 4 to 1 vote the Ouachita Parish Police Jury passed a new ordinance supporting the "Ouachita Well" health initiative creating healthier options and guidelines for vending machines and concession stands run by the parish.

With the newly passed resolution police juror Pat Moore and Ouachita well are hoping to reduce Louisiana's ever expanding waistline one machine at a time.

Vending machines are everywhere, libraries, courthouses, and even the sheriffs office. Its an easy access for a quick snack.

But with the recent studies released naming the state of Louisiana as the number one state for obesity, Ouachita parish police juror Pat Moore is out to change that statistic.

"To adopt a nutritious standard for our vending machines and concession stands which would only give people more access to healthier food choices that all" says Moore.

This is part of a bigger health movement called the "Ouachita Well" initiative.

The program is a grant funded effort by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of Louisiana and is aimed at reducing the rate of obesity in Ouachita parish.

With the passing tonight according to Pam Barton with Ouachita Well 25-percent or more of the options in vending machines and concessions run by the jury will be required to meet strict nutritional guidelines.

"Things that we can easily put in a vending machine its just that some are better and healthier with their sugar content or their calorie count" says Barton.

Now that they have the green light Barton and others will begin surveying machines in parish building such as the court house and the Ouachita parish libraries in hopes of providing healthier alternatives over the next two years.

For more information you can go to http://ouachitawell.org/ .

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