A new study published in the September issue of the Journal of School Health puts forth that this ritual of buying food from these vending machines has added an average of 253 calories to the diets of schoolchildren. The study involved 2,309 children in grades 1 through 12 from schools across the country.
Items ranging from cookies, cakes, soft drinks, candy, chips, ice cream to low-fat milk, fruit juice and even fruit, all are available in these vending machines. Almost 16% of the U. S. elementary schools had vending machines. With
88% of high schools and 52% of middle schools, it was found that almost 22% of students in grades 1 were in a habit of buying food from these vending machines on a daily basis.
While all the kids who did not buy food from vending machines consumed 146 grams of sugar per day, the others who leaned on to the vending machines ate an average of 156 grams. Also the customers of these vending machines happened to eat 4% less sodium than their counterparts.
Madhuri Kakarala of the U-M Medical School said, “Childhood obesity, resulting from poor dietary choices, such as those found in this study, greatly increases the risk for many chronic diseases. A healthy school food environment can reduce these dietary risks”.