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Vending machines are convenient for snack foods and beverages, but typically they contain unhealthy items (Maras, 2006). Most products in vending machines are high in fat, calories, and added sugars. A majority of items found in vending machines consist of chips, candy and sugar-sweetened beverages (Greves & Rivara, 2006; Wiecha et al., 2006). Currently, most vending machines do not meet healthy eating guidelines and promote the consumption of low nutritional value foods and drinks, which has been shown to be associated with weight gain (Lawerence et al., 2009).

The Douglas County Health Department has been working to increase the number of residents who have access to environments with healthy foods or beverages and physical activity opportunities. When considering strategies for healthy eating, it was noted that Nebraska does not have nutritional standards for foods sold in vending machines. To address this gap a set of standards were created for use in Douglas County and a guidance document was created to provide resources to organizations to make more healthy foods and beverages available in vending machines.

The Partners for a Healthy City Vending guide is the result of the partnership between the Douglas County Health Department and the Wellness Council for the Midlands.

CLICK HERE to download the Healthy City Vending guide.

 

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Douglas County Video Tour