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San Antonio and Chicago Employees Face-Off for $5 Million

City of San Antonio

The cities of San Antonio and Chicago are entering a competition to see which one has the healthiest city employees.  

It’s a battle to see which city can reduce the bulge, put out the cigarette, and create a healthy lifestyle among its workers. The two cities will compete for three months to win a grant from the American Beverage Association.

“The beverage association was looking for two big cities where the city employees could compete with healthier beverages, better vending machines, and show that they could lose weight and become more active,” said San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro. “It’s a $5 million challenge, and so there is a good lot of money for whoever wins.”

Part of the competition includes adding new information to vending machines in the two cities’ municipal buildings. As part of the association’s Calories Count Vending Program, calorie and nutritional information will be displayed to encourage healthier choices.

“You can’t make people be healthy and you don’t want to try but you can give them better choices and that’s what the partnership and this competition is about,” Castro said.

Beverage industry giants plan on rolling out the vending machine program nationwide. Guidelines for the competition are still being ironed-out but the competition will begin in January.

Castro said he’s confident the Alamo City can blow away the Windy City.

“We’re in it to win it so we’re going to do as good a job as we can,” said Castro.


Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules