Are vending machines responsible for the domination of unhealthy snacks

If you are not one of such people, at least you have to be familiar with somebody who cannot go a single day without having a candy bar or a pack of chips between meals. If you are a student or a busy office worker, it is a safe bet that you may even skip a meal every now and then due to lack of time and quench you hunger with a fatty snack. Except being alluringly tasty, they are also supremely accessible. You are never further than a couple of steps away from a vending machine or a corner shop with shelves giving way under the weight of all sorts of snacking goodies. Prices are appealing too, as mass-production processes have made it possible to churn our large quantities of heavily standardized items at a fraction of the cost necessary for the assembly of a healthy sandwich, for example.

If you put all these factors together, automatic selling machines become something of a culprit for spreading bad eating habits. The are believed to be particularly lethal in schools, where children often have no other provider of ready-made food. Plenty of them do not take breakfast from homes and quite a few do not actually eat breakfast at all. After a few hours of intellectual and physical effort, they are bound to be in desperate need for something to abate their hunger. A vending machine is a natural choice, always within easy reach, tinkling with flashy products, at reasonable prices for a youngster. The biggest problem is that this behavior be carried on to adult life if it is implicitly encouraged at an early age. In fact, it is often too late since teenagers develop obesity that puts extra pressure on their bodies and mind to consume more.

Similar favorable arrangements are in place in offices or other public places, where vendors plant machines to be easily available for those in desperate need for something to eat. In a rush between one meeting and another, or between one lecture and another, people just stop by for a moment to refuel at vending machines, a habit that costs people their waistlines, cardiac well-being and healthy eating patters.

Would it not be nice if more healthful products were available to the same extent thanks to improved distribution, including in vending machines? Since gradual changes are the most tenable, the strategy should be to supplement typical junk food with at least a tiny percentage of alternative choices, like pita bread snacks, fruit or low carb products. As customers get used to being able to replace a fatty candy bar with a salad or a creative baking product, this proportion could go up. In fact, some countries – in an effort to protect sections of their populations from such threats as obesity or cardiac problems – banned vending machines with sweet sodas or high fat chocolate from places like schools. Health-conscious eaters should be able to have it as easy as making a mini mouse click when they look for something to eat.