Are vending machines really the problem?

Vending machines: scapegoat for poor self discipline

BIANCA GARCIA – Hoof Prints Staff

Vending machines: chips, soda and candy. Cafeteria food: sweets, milk, chips, meat products and fruit. These are the items that are found in these two locations. Some may think that the cafeteria food is much healthier than the vending machines. But is this factual? In my opinion, they are basically the same except one comes out of a machine and the other is served on a tray. So I don’t see a problem in having vending machines at our school.

First of all, people do not like the idea of vending machines in school because they think it is one of the causes of obesity. Let me just say the vending machine does not make one choose how much food they consume. One common misconception is that the cafeteria monitors how much a student consumes. If that is the case, why is it possible for students to buy seconds? How is this a recommended portion?

Also some say that the food in the vending machine is worse than the cafeteria food. Well, that’s a lie. The food in the vending machine usually consists of snack foods, but now the snacks have changed into healthier foods. Now in the vending machine they have baked chips instead of the normal salty snacks. The vending machines do not just sell sodas; water and other beverages are also available.

The cafeteria food on the other hand isn’t much better. Even though they serve the food in small portions and mostly follow the food pyramid, that doesn’t mean the food is healthy or of good quality. In all honesty has one seen the food they serve to the students? It doesn’t look very appetizing. Have you seen the fries they serve now? I’m not going to lie, are tasty, but they are not healthier than a candy bar in the vending machine.

Basically, I don’t see a problem with vending machines because they don’t make someone gain weight. The person making the choice of consuming a large amount of food gains weight.

Yes, I’d like a bag of future health problems

JILLIAN KEY – Hoof Prints Staff

Cheetos. Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Twix. Reese’s. These are just a few of the items in the student lounge vending machines.

I am against having vending machines in our student lounge. I believe students should be required to eat in the cafeteria where healthy food is served. Snack foods are non-nutritious, while food in the cafeteria is.

Parents send their kids to school with money for a nutritious lunch, but they may not realize what they are really paying for. Teenagers need to eat food that follows a certain criteria in order to help us grow properly and our cafeteria by law has to follow those guidelines. But, when all of our teenagers are choosing a bag of Doritos over a balanced meal, then we have a problem.

Most of the foods offered in the vending machines are full of sugar, artificial flavoring, and preservatives. These can lead to many health problems such as obesity and even diabetes. Despite the attempt made by our school and our parents at home to promote good health, the presence of vending machines stacked full of our favorite snack foods undermines any attempt at healthy nutrition guidance. With our lifetime of food choices and habits ahead of us, the foods being offered in our vending machines make it difficult for students to develop healthy eating habits.

Also, if all students are required to eat in the cafeteria it saves teachers from having to keep watch in the lounge during lunch time. After getting their chips and soda, students scatter along the halls where supervision is sparse. It would keep more students out of trouble if we all had to eat in one place.

Most of the reason we even have a vending machine isn’t for the students benefit. They are here for the financial benefit of our school. Since many schools are low on funding, vending machines are one easy way to generate extra income, despite the proven negative health effects on students.