- April 28, 2011
- The impact of the availability of school vending machines on eating behavior during lunch: the Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey. J Am Diet Assoc 2010;110:1532-6
- Park S, Sappenfield WM, Huang Y, Sherry B, Bensyl DM.
Description of this Publication
The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and behavioural predictors of students in middle school who buy items from school vending machines instead of purchasing a traditional cafeteria lunch. The study sample size included 4,322 students in grades six through eight in 73 Florida public middle schools who participated in the 2003 Florida Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey. Results revealed that 18% of respondents reported purchasing a snack or beverage from a vending machine 2 or more days during the previous 5 school days instead of buying school lunch. Students enrolled in schools with a beverage vending machine had 3.5 times the risk of buying lunch from vending machines. Other statistically significant risk factors were smoking, non-Hispanic black race/ethnicity, Hispanic ethnicity, and older age. Sex, physical activity, and overweight/obesity were not significant predictors. Although healthier choices were available, the most commonly purchased vending machine foods were chips, pretzels/crackers, candy bars, soda and sport drinks. These findings suggest the necessity of removing vending machines in schools or at least limiting the availability of unhealthy snacks and beverages in these vending machines.