Seven of the machines were restricted access.
The 13 snack vending machines accessible to students carried a total of 480 items. Snack machines carried the following product mix:
- Salty snacks, 39 percent
- Cookies, 26 percent
- Candy, 25 percent
- Other, 7.7 percent
- Ice cream, 2.5 percent
Twenty-three percent of all snack items met a low-fat criteria of less than or equal to 30 percent of total calories from fat and low sugar, less than 35 percent of sugar by weight.
Seven of the snack machines were restricted access.
Subjects were categorized into four groups based on self report of frequency of vending purchases:
- 35.5 percent: zero items or only water;
- 29 percent: 1 to 3 items;
- 18.5 percent: 4 to 6 items; and
- 17 percent: more than 7 items.
The greatest number of subjects reported purchasing water, followed by sweetened beverages other than soda, regular soda, salty snacks, 100 percent juice, candy, cookies, diet soda, other products and ice cream, as indicated in the chart above.
Preliminary analyses found consistent results for BMI percentile and diet quality between gender and age groups.
A later analysis showed no differences in BMI percentile between the groups. There were differences found in calories between groups.
Frequency of purchase and body mass index
The results suggest that frequency of purchases from school vending machines was not associated with BMI, however; greater frequency of purchases was associated with a poorer diet quality. Students reporting a greater frequency of vending purchases had a greater caloric intake and poorer absolute dietary intake as compared to a lower frequency of purchases. This trend was also observed with the relative dietary intake of total fat and sucrose.
Other factors such as type of vending machines available or access to machines during the school day need to be considered, the authors noted.
No association was found between the number of unrestricted vending machines per student and frequency of vending purchases.
The researchers noted that in considering differences among the "frequency of purchase" groups, other factors, such as physical activity, intake of fruits and vegetables or availability of foods from other school food venues, should be considered. Longer term studies are needed to determine the effect that frequency of purchases from school vending machines has on BMI percentile in high school students.
Contributing authors included: Janet Whatley Blum, College of Nursing and Health Professions, University of Southern Maine; Anne-Marie Davee, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine; Rachel Devore, College of Nursing and Health Professions, University of Southern Maine; Paul Jenkins, Bassett Research Institute, Cooperstown, N.Y.; Christina Beaudoin, College of Nursing and Health Professions, University of Southern Maine; Janet Leiter, Bureau of Health, Maine Department of Health and Human Services; Lori Kaley, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine; and Debra Wigand, Bureau of Health and Human Services.
For information about NAASO, call 301-563-6526 or go to: http://www.naaso.org.