Nowadays, it is an obvious fact that a child in 2016 weighs more than a child in 1986. Have a quick look at a few obesity facts from Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn more about such unfortunate trends.
– Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children in the past 30 years.
– The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012.
– In 2012, more than one third of children were overweight or obese.
These numbers are shocking! There has been a significant effort by government agencies to stop or at least slow down the childhood obesity epidemic such as nutrition regulations at schools. Considering the fact that children spend most of their time at school, schools have been the center of attention for obesity prevention. Since vending machines are one of the main sources of food in schools, many rules and regulations have been implemented to monitor vending machine products in order to help prevent and reduce childhood obesity.
USDA has done a great job in setting new standards for all snacks and beverages sold to students during school days including the sales of food items in vending machines. These standards allow schools to offer healthier snacks and drinks through vending machines while limiting junk food.
Highlights of Guidelines for Foods inside Vending Machines
– Be a whole grain product or
– Have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product, or a protein food or
– Be a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup of fruit and/or vegetable
Food Nutrition Requirement for Vending Machines
– Snack calories must be 200 calories or less
– Sodium content must be 230 mg or less
– Total fat content must be 35% or less of calories
– Saturated fat must be 10% or less of calories
– Trans fat content has to be 0 grams
– Sugar content must be 35% or less of weight from total sugars in foods
Highlights of Requirements for Vending Machine Beverages
– Elementary schools can sell up to 8 oz while middle school and high schools can sell up to 12 oz portions of milk and juices in their vending machines.
– There is no portion size limit for plain water
It might be an extra step for vending machine companies to enforce these regulations and picking up the right products for schools. However, when it comes to our children’s health, they all do it more deliberately. More and more vending machine companies are now enforcing these guidelines not only at schools, but also for their other locations. The reason being is, besides schools other segments of our society are becoming more health conscious in general. That is why we see that replacing junk food with healthy vending is now becoming a new trend.
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