The purpose of this mixed-method evaluation is to complete a series of case studies in five cities to identify best practices, barriers, recommendations, and other considerations for healthy vending policies and initiatives affecting children and youth. Vending machines that are accessible to children and adolescents will be the focus of this evaluation. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with multiple stakeholders from each site which will focus on facilitators and barriers to implementing and evaluating healthy vending policies. The interviews will gather information on recommended policy language or evaluation methods that should be included in future healthy vending policies. During site visits, observations of vending machine content and the general food environment using an adapted version of the NEMS-V (food and drinks available, placement and promotion of healthier items, compliance with healthy vending policy) will be conducted, as well as people purchasing food and drinks from the vending machines. Additionally, short intercept surveys will be conducted with adults using the vending machines to assess reactions to the products available in the vending machines and to ask about purchases. Finally, sales data will be used when available to understand purchases, trend, and impact on businesses.
Evaluating Healthy Vending Policies Affecting Youth in Five Cities
Vending machines are a common source for low nutrient, energy-dense snacks and beverages and youth can easily access vending machines at many public spaces such as parks, recreation centers, and swimming pools. Many cities are beginning to adopt healthy vending policies in public areas, but evidence regarding best practices for developing, … More
Federal food programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) are the first line of defense against food insecurity in the United States. However, these benefits are often not sufficient to meet all of the food needs of … More
Assessing Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program families' online food purchasing behaviors to inform policies targeting expansion of SNAP benefits
Online grocery services may be a promising strategy to increase food access by creating systems that increase the self-reliance of communities to meet their food needs; however, there may be unintended consequences that should be considered. Despite the potential to increase healthier choices, individuals may purchase more soft drinks and … More