Vending machines have work to do



Andriana Johnson

Vending machines in the United States filled with unhealthy foods and drinks are still all over the country and promote unhealthy habits, such as obesity. If you live in the United States, or know about American culture, then you would be informed about the significance people have placed on vending machines over the years and how much they are detrimental to our health and the economy.

Vending machines were first popular in England, then made their way to the U.S. 

As the years went on, vending machines have made their way to schools, universities, apartment buildings, hotels, office work buildings and tons of shops all over the world. 

The United States already has a high-obesity rate due to the amount of fast-food people consume. These restaurants and machines are reaching the youth who may be vulnerable to financial risks and spending. 

It hurts my bank account knowing that I keep spending money on these unnecessary items that I know I don’t need, yet choose to buy because of consumerism. Goodbye trying to make smart and responsible money-saving, budget-wise decisions, hello broke college girl life. Ah, the epitome of college. Maybe I just wasn’t taught how to manage finances or the responsibility of owning a credit card. 

You might be thinking, “It’s only $1, so what’s the big deal?” The big deal is that money adds up over time and before you know it, you’re in debt and you can’t pay your phone bill or rent because of buying these unhealthy foods and beverages. Being that it’s from a vending machine makes it easier to spend your money. 

It may seem like you’re saving a buck, but if you’re constantly doing that every day, for at least a month, that’s well over $30 that could’ve been spent on other things like gas or groceries.

Vending machines only promote the consumption of sugary and unhealthy foods and drinks. Colleges and universities say they want to promote healthy eating to students, but it seems as though they put up a vending machine full of sugary drinks, salty treats, fatty and processed foods. It doesn’t do any good. But the person thinks they need this in order to survive. There are food pantries that provide much better resources than a Milky Way from the vending machine. 

It doesn’t provide the responsibility of adulthood that our younger generation so desperately needs.

I get it; college life can get so busy. You’re in a rush to get to your next class or maybe you have work, meetings or internships to go to and we simply don’t have the time for a full meal. It can be extremely difficult to learn to say no to those unhealthy food behaviors and be able to upkeep a healthy appearance because you are what you eat.

When you’re only eating crap, you’re going to start looking and feeling like crap. I hate to burst your bubble, but it’s the truth. 

I hope this wakes at least one person up, like you reading this right now. 

I hope you take these words I am writing and apply it to your own life and maybe consider not depending on a machine to supplement your meals if you are doing that for those reasons.

Healthy living and meal planning should be a part of everyone’s life. In order to avoid those pesky trips to Walmart or grabbing a soda from the vending machine, we must learn to say no to those unhealthy behaviors. 

Proper nutrition and exercise should be a part of everyone’s routine regardless of their age, gender, religion, or social class. Anyone can do it, and it starts with you today.

 I will say that not every vending machine has unhealthy food choices and there are some that I will see occasionally with fruit and vegetables, hummus with crackers and sandwiches, and this is a step in the right direction. Let’s see more of that in the future.