School Vending Machines


Nevaeh Dimas


School Vending Machines


Vending machines in schools in the United States provide students with unhealthy food and contribute to the growing childhood obesity problem.

Even Congress has examined allowing the United States Department of Agriculture to regulate snacks being sold in vending machines. The majority of schools have sugary and fatty foods. About three-fourths of all vending machines found in middle schools contain unhealthy snacks. Lawmakers have expressed concern that the vending machines contribute to childhood obesity because of their contents.

According to a Centers for Disease Control survey, 43% of elementary schools have vending machines. 89% of middle schools and 98% of high schools have at least one vending machine.

As of 2010, Arkansas is the only state in our region to ban vending machines from their schools. But other states have passed laws requiring school vending machines to offer more nutritional products.

Schools make tens of thousands of dollars from contracts with vending machine companies each year. Besides giving students a quick snack, vending machines also help pay for after school programs and extracurricular activities.

If schools nationwide adopted healthy snacks in their vending machines, childhood obesity could possibly decrease. So the next time you see a vending machine, i hope you remember that some children have gotten obese because of it.