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The Natural Effect of Vending Machines on Healthy Eating

Have you ever considered how vending machine services end up affecting our overall perception of healthy and unhealthy foods? Realistically, we know the difference between a healthy snack of carrot sticks or apple slices and an unhealthy snack of sugar-laden processed foods, but when we’re standing in front of a snack machine during the afternoon sleepy time with those high sugar products that promise an immediate buzz of energy, it’s hard to turn away.

 

Point Proven in Schools

In 2010, some scientists got together and analyzed the effect that school vending machines had on students in elementary, middle, and high school. The results were published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health and reveal some interesting observations.

 

Students who had access to fresh fruits and vegetables as a primary snack choice in their school vending machines, actually exhibited better eating habits overall. On the other hand, those who were offered the calorie-dense, nutrient-empty snacks tended to make unhealthy eating choices, even at regular meals.

 

One researcher pointed out that school not only provides an academic environment to encourage learning, but it also set the stage for life skills – one of those being the establishment of healthy eating habits. In that light, it’s interesting to note the big influence that school vending machines and their snack foods have on current students.

 

In Everyday Experience…

When we take the time to think about it, the research findings prove what we know to be true through personal experience. How many of us have splurged on a snack and then gone on to eat a healthy lunch later that afternoon? Unfortunately eating sugar causes our bodies to crave more sugar, and we often give in to that cycle. We eat an unhealthy snack in the afternoon, followed by an unhealthy dinner, followed by yet another unhealthy snack before bedtime, and we think that we’ll break the cycle in the morning at breakfast.

 

Instead, let’s push for healthy snacks to be offered through our office and school vending machine services. Of course, we need to follow through and purchase them instead of the sugar-stuffed candy! But with healthy options in our vending machine services, we’ll be more likely to make the right choice and go on through an empowering day of healthy food choices!