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Vending machines in schools cause danger of health

January 09,2011 by: admin

In a recent study conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services in Bethesda, Maryland has proven that vending machines in the majority of grade schools in the United States have a negative effect on the eating practices of students. A whopping 83% of the schools had junk foods such as chocolates, chips and unhealthy drinks contained in their vending machines which contributed to the students’ bad eating practices.

The researchers were aiming to determine whether there is a relationship between what type of food is available in vending machines and eating behaviors of grade school students. A total of 5,930 sixth to tenth grade students from 152 schools in the country were interviewed to get the results. The researchers chose to separate analysis for sixth to eighth grade students and ninth to tenth to see whether there is also a difference on the correlation in age difference.

The study showed that schools with vending machines that have foods with low nutritional value in them have students who preferred these types of food than healthier ones. On the other hand, schools with healthier food contained in their vending machines like vegetables, fruits, and real juice preferred healthier foods as well. This eating behavior was evident in the lower grades but in the higher grades, there were no significant relation between what types of food is available in their vending machines and what type of food they preferred.

As a conclusion, the researchers said that the schools have an important impact on the diet of these kids. Therefore, they should be able to pattern their policies for the kids to have healthier bodies. Ronald Iannotti, one of the researchers, even said that schools are places where children go to learn not only academically or mentally but to develop physically as well. He stressed that being this as the supposed role of schools; they should know how important nutritious foods are and should be considered when they make their policies. Also, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, a specialist in ways on how to avoid diseases said that schools are not the right place for vending machines to be in. Having vending machines will only encourage poor eating practices.

With the study published on the Journal of Adolescent Health, the researchers’ goal is to let it serve as a proof that unhealthy food is affecting the youth greatly and schools and the necessary authorities should do something about it to prevent future health problems.

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