Another day and another set back for healthy snacks. A reporter in Kansas wrote a story on healthy snacks in vending machines are leading to a loss in revenue. For a state that has required a ban of all sugary drinks and foods by the fall of 2011 this is an unfortunate side affect of choosing health over instant gratification.
But what are the upsides of healthy vending machines in schools? Better focus leading to better grades? Kids with more self-confidence because they are fit and not obese? An education on what is an actual healthy choice? To me it does not seem that the cons outweigh the pros.
If loss of revenue is a problem then lets make technology a solution. How about another stream of income from these machines? Flat screens are now being installed on to vending machines that advertise for the companies that create healthy snacks and beverages. With advertising there is revenue for the schools that may offset or possibly exceed the losses of revenue by not offering sugary food and drinks.
But hold on, you are probably thinking I do not want to bring advertising into the school. That is unethical. Yet we have been advertising for Coca-Cola, Pepsi and any other vending machine that have their logos plastered all over the front for over fifty years. So is it unethical to receive revenue from companies that creates food or beverages in an ethical healthy way? No.
I think we need to keep the goal of offering healthy food to schools kids in mind. Challenges will come up and only innovative thinking will get us through. We have seen that some states are pushing ahead, such as Kansas, with the idea that they will no longer offer unhealthy foods. So take advantage of the system and find a way to create revenue from healthy snacks and beverages.