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The Healthier Vending Trend: Coming to a Breakroom Near You?

These machines let you see the nutrition information before you buy. (Photo courtesy of h.u.m.a.n. Healthy Vending

Ten years ago, when you stepped up to a vending machine, your options may have included chips, candy bars, soda and gum. But snack dispensers have evolved (and nutrition initiatives have been put in place) so your diet may not be in as much danger the next time you walk into a breakroom with a crisp dollar bill to ease your mid-afternoon growling stomach! Health professionals lie on both the "pro" and "con" side of the more nutritious vending debate—supporters say it never hurts to have better options, while those who oppose claim vending machines are only one brick in a mile-long wall of nutrition problems. Besides populating breakrooms, vending machines are also mainstays in school cafeterias. Currently, 27 states have rules about what can be sold in elementary school vending machines, The New York Times reports. So it's no surprise that new companies are popping up to fill the space left behind by the machines that don't fit the new food rules. One such company, h.u.m.a.n. (which stands for "helping unite mankind and nutrition"), sells vending machines with screens that share wellness tips and nutrition facts and only offer products that have been approved by their panel of health experts. Here are a few changes you may find:  

  • Swap this: Cashew Cookie Larabar
  • For this: Snickers bar
  • And lose: 50 calories, 12 g sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean oil (trans fats)


  • Swap this: Apples and Cherries That's It bar
  • For this: Cherry Pop-Tarts
  • And lose: 300 calories, 10 g fat, added sugars


  • Swap this: Popchips Cheddar Potato
  • For this: Doritos Nacho Cheese
  • And lose: 150 calories, 9.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat)

Now tell us: What do you think of cleaning up vending machines? Do you ever buy from them or bring your own snacks?