By Julianne Horsley
People typically use vending machines as a quick fix for hunger, but one university uses them to research and fix unhealthy habits.
The Public and Community Health department at Utah Valley University launched a program called “Navigate the Snack Debate,” which informs people about the contents of vending machine snacks. The program is designed to help people make better choices when buying snacks. To accomplish this goal, the program has colored stickers placed on each item. Items with green stickers placed on them are good to eat, while items with read stickers are supposed to be eaten less frequently.
“We’re trying to do something small here at UVU to get people to make healthier choices so perhaps they can avoid negative health consequences that go with obesity,” said Dr. Mary Brown, research administrator of the program.
Brown says healthier food choices have increased by 20 percent. The researchers will release the final results in spring.