Proof That Vending Machines Are for Stupid People

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vending machineWith the exception of a few apples and some random nuts here and there, most vending machine food is crap. Of course, some crap is crappier for you than other crap, and the state of Iowa wants to make sure people know how their crap ranks nutritionally speaking

The Iowa Department of Health has launched a virtuous vending machines initiative. Part of the plan does put in some healthier fare (I'll stop saying "crap" now), but their big brilliant idea  is to put color-coded dots on foods rating their nutrition level. Green means it has some nutrition; yellow: not so much; and red means run away from it.

While it's one of the most ridiculous initiatives I've seen, at least they're acknowledging an important fact -- people who eat often from vending machines aren't very smart.

Carol Voss, the Nutrition Coordinator with the Iowans Fit for Life program, told WHO-TV why they think they'll work:

Unfortunately when you're at a vending machine, you cannot read a nutrition label. So you're going with the information that's on the front of the pack, and many times it will lead you astray.

Because people actually think a Snickers bar is healthy for them? And if someone is really that concerned about what they're going to ingest then: a) they could easily Google it; and b) they're probably not approaching the vending machine often enough for it to matter anyway!

Also, if they're so worried about them, why put any red-dot foods in there in the first place? Why not get rid of vending machines all together?. Sure it's nice to grab a bite of food while you wait for your car to be fixed or in the office lunchroom, but do Americans really need to be able to eat EVERYWHERE? Judging from our obesity problem, I'd venture to say no. It wouldn't hurt us to hear a grumble in our tummy once in awhile, and how about planning a little better -- pack a lunch perhaps?

Trying to warn people away from certain choices in a vending machine is a ridiculous waste of time, money, and dots. Try again, Iowa.

Do you think color-coded dots in vending machines are ridiculous or they would actually help people make better choices?


Image via my guitarzz/Flickr

bad habits, eating healthy, healthy habits, nutrition

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nonmember avatar Jen

You know, I'd love it if this food police thing ended. No one is stupid about this. We all know chips and candy are not healthy. Once you're over 18 and an adult though, it's pretty much your choice to eat how you want. Do Americans need to eat everywhere? I guess not but really, if I want a candy bar it's my own business and I don't need a red dot to tell me anything. I haven't even used a vending machine in years and I'm far from overweight but seriously, armchair experts and the government need to butt the hell out already.

AnuMeha AnuMeha

We need to make better choices, should know the snack we are picking up from the vending machine and its nutritive value. Many a times when I pick up peanuts( that too the roasted ones), I've been told by the friends & colleagues that the picked up snack is fattening. Their choice of snack is obviously potato chips or any other similar snack. I do educate them that though the peanuts as a snack may be fattening but also has nutritive value whereas snacks like wafers & chips only has empty calories. Hence one while involving oneself from picking up any edible item should know about the choice made...eating

nonmember avatar Fay Walsh

I agree with the first poster, its rather annoying to have everyone telling me what I should and shouldn't eat. The irony is telling a long term smoker my snack pack of mini cookies will kill me as I take a nice long drag, heres hoping the cookies kill me before the smoke does!

KTMOM KTMOM

I think people are gonna eat what they are gonna eat...

mommix4 mommix4

I like you Faith!

thepr... thepragmatist

I do wish you could see nutrition information while you're trying to select a snack, you don't always have google right there at your fingertips when you need it.


I can see that these dots are well intentioned, but the problem is who is defining what is nutritious or not. A snickers bar is certainly more calories and fat than a 3 musketeers, but at least it has protein, the 3 musketeers is really just pure sugar. The trail mix might have more calories than the animal crackers, but offer protein and fiber. There really are no "all good" or "all bad" foods, there's more good and more bad depending on what you need (a chocolate fix, or a meal replacement because you forgot your lunch?).

mommix4 mommix4

Ooops sorry Fay

Peajewel Peajewel

I think it may be just a tad silly.  I don't know why you would need to see any of the information to know what is better for you. it is the same concept as the chip aisle in the grocery store, just on a smaller level.   On the machine we have at work, it is not color coded but it does have little signs on some that say "healthier choice".  It makes me giggle. 

Miriam Kennedy

I used to eat the peanuts from the vending machine at work because they were the only actual "food" in there.

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