Nearly four million vending machines in schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, and other places where kids spend time dispense snacks and drinks every day. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, more of those food and beverage choices will be healthy, under a new public health commitment adopted by the National Automated Merchandising Association (NAMA), with support from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (Healthier Generation) and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), two national nonprofits dedicated to improving children’s health, including reducing obesity.
Over the next three years, the share of “better for you” options available in the nation’s vending machines will increase from 24 percent to 33 percent—a gain of nearly 40 percent over current levels. NAMA defines “better for you” as a food or beverage that meets at least two established healthy food standards.
Victoria Brown, senior program officer at RWJF, recently spoke with NAMA CEO Carla Balakgie, Healthier Generation Chief Strategy and Partnership Officer Anne Ferree, and PHA COO Stacy Molander to learn more about this unique partnership.