Vending machine snacks can damage childrens’ health

According to a new health report published by, children who are in the habit of eating snacks from vending machines are more likely to develop chronic health problems. They may also be at a risk of obesity, diabetes and coronary artery disease.

The research was conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School, analyzing food sold in schools and offered by the USDA lunch program. The result of the study showed that the food was putting school childrens’ health at risk. Researchers commented that children develop eating habits early on and these may stick for the rest of their lives.

During the study, 2,309 children in grades 1 to 12 from different schools in the country were analyzed, says the report published in The data was collected with the help of questionnaires that registered the childrens’ food habits for 24 hours.

Out of the total number of students surveyed, 22% consumed food from vending machines. The percentage increased to 52% in children from elementary and middle schools.

Snacks and soft drinks are the most commonly sold items that harm childrens’ health. According to researcher Madhur Kakarala, “Targeted nutrition education to promote the importance of healthful snacks is further stressed by the Child Nutrition Act- the major federal legislation that determines school food policy and resources. These and other types of school-enforced policies can be very helpful for children in making smarter eating choices throughout the school day.”

Images: Dan Taylor on Flikr and Wikimedia Commons

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