3 o’clock. Three hours after lunch. Two hours until quitting time. Snack time! Now, the uber-prepared would have a snack ready. But who is that prepared? A trip to the “not-so” healthy vending machines quickly approaches. Looking in at cookies, snack cakes, chips and soda, what do they all have in common? Sugar, trans-fats, salt, MSG, and a perilous strain on anyone with diabetes, high cholesterol, and other diet related disabilities. The diabetic can’t process large quantities of sugar. The manager with high cholesterol processes fats into higher LDL. The celiac gets numbing pain eating gluten laden foods, and the lactose intolerant co-worker gets uncomfortable just looking at cheese puffs. This office needs healthy vending options!
Diabetes and High Cholesterol
Diabetes and high cholesterol are leading contributors in the rising costs of health care. Affecting approximately 11% of the working population, diabetes is responsible for nearly $245B in health related costs annually. High cholesterol affects one-third of adults and is responsible for $1 of every $6 spent on healthcare. These numbers should cause second thoughts about the actual cost of the $2 snack cake and soda. Though some affected by these diseases are genetically prone to them, many afflicted can mitigate the diseases through healthy eating. By eating fiber rich diets, fruits and veggies, and lean proteins, more control of the diseases can be achieved, lessening complications over time and lowering the financial impact.
That’s fine, but sometimes food needs to be fast. In many cases, vending may be the only quick food choice. Thus healthy vending options are gaining popularity among those dealing with dietary diseases.
Other groups for whom healthy vending is not just popular, but necessary, include people without the ability to process unhealthy foods. Those with celiac disease, lactose intolerance and other food allergies are a growing demographic. Previously, these groups were unable to consume available products without, often severe, consequences. The trend toward healthy vending machines allows people with such allergies to snack confidently.
In the past, a crisp, beautiful apple could be purchased in such a healthy vending machine for just $0.05. The price may have risen, but healthy vending is back, allowing those with dietary health problems to not only be able to snack without fear of the consequences, but for some, may eventually lower risk factors and ultimately the associated costs of their conditions.