Sweet and Salty. An Assessment of the Snacks and Beverages Sold in Vending Machines on US Post-secondary Institution Campuses
This study assessed the nutritional quality of snacks and beverages sold in vending machines. The contents of snack and beverage vending machines in 78 buildings on 11 US post-secondary education campuses were surveyed. Of the 2607 snack machine slots surveyed, the most common snacks vended were salty snacks (e.g., chips, pretzels) and sweets (i.e., candy and candy bars). The 1650 beverage machine slots assessed contained twice as many sugar-sweetened beverages as non-calorie-containing beverages. Only two institutions sold both milk and 100% juice in vending machines. The portion of snacks and beverages sold averaged more than 200 cal. Neither snacks nor beverages were nutrient dense. The majority of snacks were low in fiber and high in calories and fat and almost half were high in sugar. Most beverages were high in calories and sugar. This study's findings suggest that vending machines provide limited healthful choices. Findings from benchmark assessments of components of the food environment, like the vending options reported here, can provide valuable input to campus administrators, health services, food service, and students who want to establish campus policies to promote healthful eating.
DOI of Published Version
Byrd-Bredbenner, Carol; Johnson, Michelle; Quick, Virginia M; Walsh, Jennifer; Greene, Geoffrey W; Hoerr, Sharon; Colby, Sarah M; Kattelmann, Kendra K.; Phillips, Beatrice W; Kidd, Tandalayo; and Horacek, Tanya M, "Sweet and Salty. An Assessment of the Snacks and Beverages Sold in Vending Machines on US Post-secondary Institution Campuses" (2012). Health and Nutritional Sciences Faculty Publications. 192.