When One-Half Equals 75%

Perhaps the proponents of CB17-2015 intended that each vending machine have 75% healthy items or maybe each collection of vending machines.  But the Bill is less than clear on this issue.  Seventy-five percent could be interpreted as all the machines across all of the Howard County properties.  So that some machines may have only 50% healthy options, but others will have 100% to get a total of 75% healthy items.

If “offerings” means SKUs then it is possible that each machine could meet the requirements of the Bill by having 75% of the offerings representing healthy options while only being 50% of the choices at the machine.  Consider a machine with just buttons as discussed earlier in Will CB17-2015 Ban Certain Types of Vending Machines?  The bill requires 50% of each row to be healthy.  Water must be offered too.  Lastly, no more than 33% of the total offerings may be diet drinks.  So the buttons could look like this:

CB17-2015 Button Example 2

Here there are 8 offerings.  Six of the eight or 75% of the offerings are healthy options.  Yet, only 50% of the actual buttons are healthy options.  One of eight offerings are diet drinks; however they comprise 33.3% of the buttons.

Now consider this arrangement without the regular Coke.

CB17-2015 Button Example 3

Here there are seven offerings.  Six of the seven or 85.7% are healthy.  Only one of seven or 14% are Diet Coke offerings yet they occupy 50% of the buttons.

These are yet other ambiguous and unintended consequence of the drafting of CB17-2015.


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