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Utah School Experiments with Vending Machine Policy

Utah School Experiments with Vending Machine Policy

Posted - Jan. 27, 2004 at 9:46 p.m.



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Ed Yeates reporting An experiment at one Utah school, to remodel its vending- machine policy, is apparently paying off.

The change here has been gradual over the past three years. Pepsi, Coke - all soda pop products have disappeared. Now, inside neutral vending machines - juices, milk, bottled water and snacks considered "minimally" nutritious.

This Seahawks Snack Corner, as it's called, is still evolving.

Ryan Hunter Student body President: "We have a more nutritious way of giving out food"

Instead of government mandates, student leaders and parents are recommending changes as part of a community council.

Some students still have mixed feelings - especially NO pop - but most like it!

"I'm a wrestler, so i really never drink that kind of stuff - so i don't really miss it."

"Like the juices are better. I like the juices"

"I don't think it's a bad idea what they're doing but I know there are people who do miss the pop."

"I know people want to be healthy and stuff, but it's our money so I think it should be our decision."

The vending machines are actually a research project in collaboration with the state health department. At first glance some of the products may not appear very healthy. But look again.

Things like chocolate covered graham crackers and other products are appealing while still considered "minimally" nutritious.

Robin Bowden School Principal: "There is a difference between minimally nutritious and healthy options - and to bump up to the next level will take a community council decision."

That next step up would reduce candy, cookies and chip products - adding 100% fruit and vegetable drinks, and high fiber snacks with lower calories.

The community council will discuss that next step up in its meeting tomorrow night at Syracuse Junior High.

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