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School Vending Machines Scenarios

The presence of vending machines in school settings has become a debated topic in many arenas. Some argue that a snack machine only encourages childhood obesity since most vending machine services offer a wide variety of junk food. The marketing of popular companies and brands that are infamous for foods devoid of nutritional value also causes local and state authorities to seriously consider the use of vending machines in school. However, there are some practical considerations that could support school vending machines.


Increasing Nutritional Options

Vending machine services have begun to include some nutritional options for customers. Although vending machines in school will most likely always continue to offer the popular items that are high sugar and calories, foods containing needed protein, calcium, and even fiber are often also available. While regular eating from the foods offered by vending machine services will obviously have severe, negative results, school vending machines can provide needed nutrition for teachers as well as students who have missed a meal or whose health or activity needs require additional calories. As the culture continues to become more aware of the necessity for foods rich in nutrition, vending machine services could continue to improve their selection of nutritional options. As this happens, a snack machine may become a major source for nutritional foods.


Alertness Optimized

While alertness is best accomplished by getting enough rest and exercise, often students and teachers face demands that leave them exhausted. Foods and drinks offered by vending machine services that can give a needed energy boost can become essential during the hours of a long day. Caffeine addiction should not be encouraged, but providing a stimulant that can optimize the hours set aside for productive learning may at times be necessary.


Personal Discipline Opportunities

The assumption that removing vending machines in school will remove the negative eating habits ignores the deeper issue inherent in any eating disorder or dangerous lifestyle. Students who are addicted to junk food will find and bring their favorites to school. Vending machines may actually provide the means for concerned adults or classmates to recognize and address concerning eating patterns and for students to take steps to reverse lifestyle habits within a supportive atmosphere. Others will most likely notice purchases any student makes. While negative peer pressure could encourage unwise eating and spending at the snack machine, positive peer pressure could just as easily encourage the opposite.