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