Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH and her team recently conducted an evaluation of healthy vending policies and initiatives affecting youth in four cities: Chicago Parks District in Chicago, Illinois; Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Springdale, Arkansas.
Vending machines are a common source for low nutrient, energy-dense snacks and beverages and youth can easily access vending machines at many public spaces such as parks, recreation centers, and swimming pools. Increasing the availability of healthier options in vending machines is one way to influence healthier snacking behaviors and is aligned with the CDC recommendation for communities to make healthier food and beverage options more readily available in public venues.
Many cities are beginning to adopt healthy vending policies in public areas, but evidence regarding best practices for developing, implementing, and evaluating these healthy vending polices is limited.
This study used a mixed-methods, multiple case study design and included semi-structured interviews with multiple stakeholders from each city; site visits at each city, which included intercept surveys with adults using the vending machines and observations of the available products in vending machines; and a review of documents including nutrition standards, policies, requests for proposals (RFPs), vending contracts, sales data, and any existing evaluation tools were collected from each site.
The research findings are summarized in this report and describe the major similarities and differences across four cites/counties implementing healthy vending initiatives and emphasize the major facilitators and barriers to developing, implementing, and evaluating healthy vending policies and initiatives.
This research was supported by Healthy Eating Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Evaluating Healthy Vending Policies for Youth in Four Cities
Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH; Julie Bromberg, MHS; Yasaman Mirafzali; Sarah Green, MPH
Download the full report here.