Fresh Vending Machines in Pima County
Filed under: Fresh Healthy Vending | Tags: | October 27th, 2010
For those living in Arizona, more than one quarter of adults are obese, and the state ranks 15th for childhood obesity and 29th for adult obesity. Pima County residents were happy to hear that they were the only county in Arizona who received funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help curb and prevent obesity. Receiving $15.7 million, the money will go to Pima County teams who work with schools, workplaces, faith-based groups, and neighborhoods to educate on nutritional eating habits and reduce obesity.
So what are some of the ideas that will help make this program a success? Implementing fresh vending machines and exercise programs into the lives of kids and adults is one of the effective ways that Pima County teams are working together and putting the stimulus money to good use. While fresh healthy vending choices should indeed be offered at all public venues and places, it’s schools and workplaces that the teams are targeting first. And, it’s not that snacks and sugary drinks are being replaced with less fattening and less sugary alternatives. These fresh healthy vending machines are getting a total makeover.
While eating healthy starts at home, kids can’t make the right choices if they’re not available at schools. The same goes for adults who eat healthy at home, yet only have choices for sodas, chips, and candy from local vending machines. Fortunately, a new senate bill passed this summer grants $3.4 billion to schools in order to improve school menus and incorporate fresh vending selections on school grounds. Michelle Obama has also given attention to ending childhood obesity, starting with getting schools to offer healthier choices.
Kids and adults can find a selection of kid-friendly, healthy snacks in these new fresh vending machines, including 100% fruit juices, soy milk, soy yogurts, and all-natural granola bars. Yet it’s not just the fresh vending machines that Pima County teams are working toward. Fitness programs are also being integrated into the workplace and will consist of wellness programs, work-site training sessions, stretch bands, and healthy cookbooks to send home with employees.
In addition to fresh healthy vending machines and fitness programs, Pima County teams also plan to offer obesity prevention kits to local churches, hospitals, and doctors. Also in the works is train-the-trainer sessions, where trainers can get a hands-on approach to health coaching. With the combination of fresh vending choices, fitness seminars, and more training, Pima County is off to a good start in reducing obesity.