Assessing the availability, price, nutritional value and consumer views about foods and beverages from vending machines across university campuses in regional New South Wales, Australia

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Issue addressed: Vending machines are ubiquitous. However, there is limited evidence on the nutritional value of food and beverages vended on university campuses and on the views of potential users. This study identified the availability, price and nutritional value of food and beverages vended on regional university campuses and investigated the views of university staff and students. Methods: The availability and price of food and beverages vended on five regional university campuses were assessed by direct observation. Volunteers (n = 222) completed an anonymous, online or paper survey to assess their perspectives on products available in campus vending machines. Results: Sixty per cent of 1259 slots identified in 49 vending machines were for foods and 40% were for beverages. Almost all foods (93%) and the majority of beverages (53%) vended were categorised as "less healthy." The mean difference between the prices of healthier and less healthy foods and beverages was $0.72 and $0.16, respectively, but these differences were not statistically significant. Nearly 40% of participants were unsatisfied with the products available. Conclusions: Vending machines on regional university campuses contained a high proportion of energy-dense nutrient-poor foods which contribute to an obesogenic environment. Regional university staff and students desire healthier vending options. So what?: Findings can be used to inform stakeholders of the need to improve the nutritional quality of food and beverages vended on regional university campuses. Development of food policy for university settings and adoption of strategies to improve the availability and price of healthy foods would promote healthier food choices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Volume30
Issue number1
Early online dateJan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

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