September 3, 2010

Children And Vending Machines Don’t Mix Well

(Ivanhoe Newswire) - School children who consume foods purchased in vending machines are more likely to develop poor diet quality "“ and that may be associated with being overweight, obese or at risk for chronic health problems such as diabetes and coronary artery disease, according to research from the University of Michigan Medical School.

"The foods that children are exposed to early on in life influence the pattern for their eating habits as adults," lead study author Madhuri Kakarala was quoted as saying.

Researchers analyzed data from 2,309 children in grades 1 through 12 from schools across the country. Interviewers administered questionnaires to obtain 24-hour food intake data on a given school day. Second-day food intake data was obtained from a group of students to account for day-to-day usual intakes.

Among those surveyed, 22 percent of school children consumed competitive or vended food items in a school day. Usage was highest in high school, where 88 percent of schools had vending machines, compared to 52 percent of middle schools and 16 percent of elementary schools. Competitive food and beverage consumers had significantly higher sugar intakes and lower dietary fiber, vitamin B levels and iron intakes than non-consumers.

Source: Journal of School Health; September 2010