Statement of CSPI Policy Associate Jessi Silverman
This week, the National Automatic Merchandising Association took a step toward giving American vending machine customers what they want: healthier options. A trade association that represents over 1,000 companies operating vending machines and micromarkets across the country, NAMA will increase the proportion of “better-for-you” beverages and snacks sold in the nation’s vending machines from the baseline of 24 percent to 33 percent over the next three years. “Better-for-you” products must comply with at least two sets of nutrition guidelines among those developed by the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity, the American Heart Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Partnership for a Healthier America.
Vending machines, often stocked primarily with products high in salt, saturated fat, added sugar, and refined grains, are ubiquitous in our worksites and community spaces. Modest changes to improve the food environment, like replacing sugar-sweetened soda with water or other healthier drinks, help people make healthier choices. For this reason, CSPI continues to advocate for increased access to healthy food in public places, worksites, and other institutions across the country.