Development Of A Healthy Vending Toolkit Final Write Up
Healthy Vending Toolkit Project
By: Lusi M Martin
Project Period: January 2009 - March 2009
University of Tennessee Knoxville
Department of Nutrition
Community Nutrition II
Completed: April 20th, 2009
The worksite offers a unique opportunity to develop behavioral and environmental
strategies to improve health. A collaboration of the University of Tennessee Knoxville,
Knox County Health Department (KCHD) and the East Tennessee Wellness Roundtable to
develop and evaluate a Healthy Vending Toolkit for local area business managers was
carried out. The Project Director is a graduate student in the Department of Nutrition at the
University of Tennessee Knoxville, and was responsible for planning and developing the
Healthy Vending Toolkit (Appendix A). The Co-Project Director is a Master’s level
Registered Dietitian employed by KCHD.
Currently, KCHD has implemented an environmental strategy through their New Knox
County Vending Policy to increase the availability of healthier food items in vending
machines, attempting to increase the consumption of healthier foods. The New Knox
County Vending Policy has been developed to impact Knox County/City of Knoxville
The development of the toolkit began January 16th, 2009 and officially was completed
March 26th, 2009. Assessment surveys for worksite vending machines, employees and
managers were developed using literature search and existing surveys. Surveys were built
on SurveyMonkey and distributed via e-mail to approximately 200 managers and
employees affiliated with the East Tennessee Wellness Roundtable. Surveys provided
information on employee and manager perceptions of vending machines at the worksite.
The surveys of manager and employee perception on worksite vending machines were
used to tailor the Healthy Vending Toolkit for the intended population. Results from the
manager and employee surveys revealed the following among others:
88.2% of worksites offer vending machines mainly for employees (93%).
92% of managers reported worksites not having a vending policy in place.
100% of managers were willing to implement healthy vending at the worksite
92% of employees would purchase healthy foods if made available
63% strongly agreed that they wanted healthy foods available
67% reported vending machines were not part of healthy environment
Additional findings are reported in the results section of this document.
A final presentation of the Healthy Vending Machine content was held at the BB&T Bank
located downtown Knoxville to the East Tennessee Wellness Roundtable Group. There
were approximately 30 individuals present. Twenty three evaluations were collected after
the presentation. All attendees reported the presentation providing information that was
very useful (78%) or useful (22%) to implementing and sustaining healthy vending at the
worksite. The surveys and evaluations collected from the stakeholders support the need
for the Healthy Vending Toolkit. The Healthy Vending Toolkit will be available upon
requests at the KCHD.
3|HEALTHY VENDING TOOLKIT PROJECT
In the United States, overweight and obesity continues to be a major public health
problem and a health issue that consumes a significant amount of healthcare dollars (1).
Evidence suggests that the rise in overweight and obesity in the U.S. can be attributed to
changes in the environment that have influenced both eating and physical activity (2).
Unfortunately, this rising trend in overweight and obesity have been predicted to continue
both in adults and in children (3). According to reports from the Behavioral Risk Factor
Surveillance Systems, in 2006 61.1% of the adult population in the U.S was overweight
and/or obese, rising to 62.9% in 2007 (4). This trend is a major concern that needs
attention as overweight and obesity are linked to many known chronic diseases such as
heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer (5, 6, 7).
Major trends in the U.S. food environment may be partly to blame for this
overweight and obesity problem including the almost unlimited access to fast food
restaurants and the wide availability of high calorie high fat foods. According to Popkin et
al, it appears that total caloric intake has increased among all races, ages, socioeconomic
backgrounds and genders (2). In addition, these trends are the result of the frequent
consumption of snack foods that are energy dense and contain poor nutrients. These foods
are prepackaged and are usually considered convenient for an individual to
consume/purchase immediately without much if any preparation. Therefore, Seymour et
al. suggest that targeting the individuals is not as effective as targeting environmental and
policy interventions to achieve a change in dietary pattern by reducing the availability of
less healthy foods to individuals (8).
Healthy People 2010 Objectives have documented the need for worksite
interventions; an environment where there is a unique opportunity to improve employees
health (8,9). In addition, efforts at the national level have been made focusing on the
worksite. For example, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) have funded 7
studies focusing on obesity prevention in 114 worksites with about 48,000 employees (10).
The worksite environment in particular has been viewed as an environment that offers a
unique opportunity to promote healthy changes among individuals (11). The larger
community is saturated with advertisement and eatery places that cue those individuals
living in it to increase consumption. The worksite however, is a much smaller community
that can be easily influenced and/or manipulated to assist individuals working in it to make
healthier food choices. For example, vending machines at worksites could provide
healthier food choices for individuals. However, it is important to note that when healthy
foods (fruits, low calorie, low fat snacks and/or beverages) are made available in
conjunction with less healthy foods (high-calorie, high- fat snacks, beverages), healthful
food choices may be compromised (2). Thus, many researchers have turned to studying
changing food availability in vending machines at worksites and the effect on the food
choices of individuals who work in these environments.
A systematic review of the literature by Seymour et al (8) on the impact of nutrition
environmental interventions on point of purchase behavior in adults found that worksites
5|HEALTHY VENDING TOOLKIT PROJECT
where health information was provided at the time of purchase seemed to influence food
choices. The authors suggested that this action influences behavior change and that a
larger impact on healthy eating could be achieved by limiting the entire menu to healthy
choices, creating an environment in which individuals would not have to actively choose
healthier foods. This would be considered an environmental change (8). Moreover, Fiske
and colleagues (12) also found increasing the availability of low-fat items along with
promotional materials in vending machines located in teacher’s lounges in elementary and
middle schools increased consumption of this food item. Another study by French and
colleagues (2001) found that lowering the prices on healthier items, as compared to less
healthful items, increases their consumption (13).
Similar to the national trend in overweight and obesity, Knox County experienced a jump in
reports of overweight and obesity from 2006 to 2007 from 58.3% to 67.4% (4). It is clear
that interventions addressing the rising trend of overweight and obesity need to be
addressed. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Knox County Health Department
(KCHD), and the East Tennessee Wellness Roundtable has partnered proposing to train
area business managers on the implementation of healthier vending policies at their
worksite. The KCHD and the University of Tennessee have a long history of collaborating
on many projects including but not limited to conducting community assessment to
determine needs. In addition, the KCHD is well-known in its support of many organizations
in Knoxville including its support of the work performed by the East Tennessee Wellness
The East Tennessee (ET) Wellness Roundtable is a fairly new organization established in
2006 by Gary Emig. At the time, Gary Emig was affiliated with Covenant Health and is now
employed with Summitt Health where he continues to oversee the ET Wellness Roundtable.
The ET Wellness Roundtable was created to help area employers start or understand how
to generate interest in wellness programs. The Roundtable assists area employers find
resources, give them the most current thoughts regarding wellness and guide them as they
develop their wellness program at their worksites. Currently, the ET Wellness Roundtable
has over 200 businesses in East Tennessee participating in its organization.
Moreover, the KCHD took the lead in 2006, initiating a healthier vending machine system
using a three-tiered color-coded system (Red, Yellow, and Green) for food items in vending
machines as follows: Red (not healthy), Yellow (somewhat healthy), and Green (the
healthiest). The three-tiered color-coded system allowed for a 30% implementation of
healthy vending. Not surprisingly, the three tiered color-coding system was not effective in
changing employee eating habits as healthier food competed with the presence of
unhealthy food options.
As a result, a new Knox County Vending Policy was established and has implemented 100%
at the KCHD (Appendix A, Healthy Vending Toolkit p. 14). Healthy foods are identified by
being a “smart snack”. In order to be a “smart snack”, foods must meet specific criterias.
These criteria are made visible for all consumers on cling form sticker, and posted on the
outside of each vending machine (Appendix B). In addition, a “smart snack” apple sticker is
used to identify each vending product meeting “smart snack” criteria. The new Knox
6|HEALTHY VENDING TOOLKIT PROJECT
County vending policy was established to impact vending machines for Knox County and
City of Knoxville government offices. Unfortunately, other facilities with vending machines
have not fully implemented the New Knox County Vending Policy including the City County
Building located in downtown Knoxville who house hundreds of employees at the worksite.
Therefore, the objective of this project was to develop a healthy vending toolkit
utilizing the New Knox County Vending Policy. The Healthy Vending Toolkit will be used to
train area business managers to implement healthier vending policies at their worksite.
The development process and evaluation of the healthy vending toolkit for area business
managers was supported by the expertise of the Co-Project Director, a Master’s level
Registered Dietitian employed by the KCHD. The Healthy Vending Toolkit was presented to
the ET Wellness Roundtable Committee which has access to a large network of the East
Tennessee area businesses. Collectively, the resources available at the KCHD, University of
Tennessee, Knoxville, and ET Wellness Roundtable will help ensure the successful
implementation of healthy vending machine policies in area businesses in Knoxville.
Overweight and obesity remains an enormous public health concern for adults, and
research has shown its contribution to the declining health status in the United States (9).
The worksite offers a great opportunity for environmental change because managers have
more control over of what foods can be available in vending machines, which in turn can
result in a larger impact on healthier food choices.
The Healthy Vending Toolkit was developed to guide and support local area business
managers in the implementation of healthy vending at their respective worksites.
7|HEALTHY VENDING TOOLKIT PROJECT
GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
Goal: To increase the number of healthy vending policies being implemented at the
Objective 1: By January 16th, 2009, the Project Director will meet with the Co-Project
Director to discuss needs for healthy vending option at worksites in East Tennessee.
Objective 2: By January 31st, 2009 the Project Director will develop 2 surveys; an
Employee Survey Assessment and Manager Survey Assessment using literature and
2.1: By January 23rd, 2009 the Project Director will develop a draft of a Survey of
Worksite Vending Machines that will be sent to Co-Project Director for approval.
2.2: By January 23rd, 2009, the Project Director will develop a draft of a survey of
Employee Assessment of Vending Machines that will be sent to Co-Project
Director for approval.
2.3: By January 23rd, 2009, the Project Director will develop a draft of a survey of
Manager Assessment of Vending Machines that will be sent to Co-Project
Director for approval.
2.4: By January 31st, 2009, the Project Director will complete development of
Employee Assessment of Vending Machines and Manager Assessment of Vending
Machines surveys on SurveyMonkey website, and Worksite Vending Machines
surveys on Microsoft Word.
2.5: By January 31st, 2009, the Project Director will send a link from Survey Monkey
website of the Employee Assessment of Vending Machines and Manager
Assessment of Vending Machines surveys to the Co-Project Director for delivery
to ET Wellness Roundtable committee members via e-mail.
2.6: By February 1st, 2009, the Project Director will contact Co-Project Director to
confirm that Employee Assessment of Vending Machines and Manger Assessment
of Vending Machines surveys were distributed to the East Tennessee Wellness
Roundtable committee members in order to collect their feedback on their
respective worksite vending machines.
Objective 3: By February 6th 2009, the Project Director will utilize developed Worksite
Vending Machines survey to identify foods and beverages available to employees in vending
machines at Knox County Health Department and the City County Building in Knoxville.
8|HEALTHY VENDING TOOLKIT PROJECT
Objective 4: By February 20th 2009, the Project Director will analyze feedback from the
Employee and Manager surveys on the SurveyMonkey website to generate a list of
employees and managers perceptions of vending machines at worksites.
Objective 5: By February 25rd, 2009, the Project Director will present survey results to the
Co-Project Director to discuss feedback from the Employee and Manager surveys and
worksite vending machine visits for the further development of the vending machine
Objective 6: By February 25rd, 2009, the Project Director will meet with Co-Project
Director to identify strengths and weakness and/or progress thus far with the project.
Objective 7: By March 13th, 2009 the Project Director will complete the final draft of the
healthy vending toolkit which will be delivered to the Co-Project Director for approval.
7.1: By March 7th, 2009 the Project Director will complete a draft of the Healthy
Vending Toolkit which will be delivered to the Co-Project Director for feedback
Objective 8: On March 26th, 2009, the Project Director will present the proposed Healthy
Vending Toolkit to the East Tennessee Wellness Roundtable in order to establish a healthier
eating environment at their respective worksite as determined by a training evaluation
form completed by those present.
9|HEALTHY VENDING TOOLKIT PROJECT
The major outcome of this project was the development of the Healthy Vending Toolkit for
local distribution to worksite wellness managers. Regular contact between the Project
Director and Co- Project Director were made through e-mail (Appendix B). The
developmental process of the Health Vending Toolkit was divided into 5 phases as follows:
Phase 1: Initial meeting with Co-Project Director
Phase 2: Development and Utilization of Surveys
Phase 3: Data Collection and Interpretation
Phase 4: Development & Presentation of Healthy Vending Toolkit
Phase 5: Completion of Final Report to KCHD
PHASE 1: INITIAL MEETING WITH CO-PROJECT DIRECTOR
The first phase of this project was defined by a face to face meeting with the Co-Project
Director, an employee of the KCHD to discuss needs for healthy vending policies for the ET
Wellness Roundtable Committee. In addition, the Co-Project Director provided background
information on the healthy vending policy developed in 2006, as well as the New Healthy
Vending System currently utilized by the KCHD, as a guide for the development of the
Healthy Vending Toolkit. A quick tour of the vending machines at KCHD was carried out,
and a brief discussion and update on the progress of the New Healthy Vending System in
relation to foods offered at KCHD worksite vending machines. The meeting provided
information needed to collect from the ET Wellness Roundtable Committee and a better
understanding of the potential for healthy food choices in vending machines at worksites.
PHASE 2: DEVELOPMENT & UTILIZATION OF SURVEYS
The second phase of this project consisted of the development and utilization of three
surveys: Employee Assessment Survey (EAS) (Appendix A, Healthy Vending Toolkit, p. 20),
Manager Assessment Survey (MAS) (Appendix A, Healthy Vending Toolkit,p.18) and Worksite
Vending Machine Survey (WVMS) (Appendix A, Healthy Vending Toolkit, p.23). The surveys
were developed using literature and existing surveys. The Employee Assessment Survey
included a total of 9 questions that gathered information on employee vending machine
perceptions at the worksite. The Manager Assessment Survey consisted of a total of 10
questions that gathered information on the extent managers perceive and/or were willing
to support the implementation of healthy vending policies, as well as perceived barriers to
implementation. The Worksite Vending Machine Survey was used by the Project Director to
assess food items at KCHD and the City Counsel Building in Knoxville vending machines to
distinguish differences in food items available and the opportunity to improve food choices
in vending machines. The Employee and Manager Assessment Surveys were set up online
using SurveyMonkey with prior approval by the Co-Project Director. A link provided by
SurveyMonkey with the EAS and MAS were distributed via e-mail to approximately 200
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managers and employees affiliated with the ET Wellness Roundtable Committee to
PHASE 3: DATA COLLECTION & INTERPRETATION
During phase three, data were collected and analyzed from the EAS and MAS by
SurveyMonkey to determine perceived needs of vending machines. SurveyMonkey tracked
the number of responses and quantified the percentages of individual responses to each
question (Appendix C). A visual survey of a total of 4 snack vending machines and 4
beverage vending machines using the WVMS were conducted (4 from KCHD and 4 from
City Counsel Building) was made to determine the number of healthy food items offered by
each worksite vending machines (Appendix D). The two worksites were surveyed because
both have implemented the New Healthy Vending Policy with the KCHD implementing
100% and the latter 30%. In addition, comments on the extent that vending machines
followed the New Healthy Vending Policy in both facilities were observed and documented.
All data from surveys were gathered and interpreted by the Project Director. A second face
to face meeting was scheduled with the Co-Project Director at the KCHD to discuss the
results of the three surveys found by the Project Director.
PHASE 4: DEVELOPMENT & PRESENTATION OF HEALTHY VENDING TOOLKIT
In phase 4, the Project Director developed the healthy vending toolkit using information
from the surveys as well as information from numerous research articles as well as
national organizations outside of the area who have successfully implemented healthy
vending at their respective worksites. The final draft of the Healthy Vending Toolkit was
approved by the Co-Project Director and presented using visual presentation to the ET
Wellness Roundtable Committee on March 26th, 2009 (Appendix E). An evaluation form
was provided to the presentation attendees to complete regarding the Healthy Vending
Toolkit presentation (Appendix F). A final evaluation form was given to the Co-Project
Director to evaluate the work carried out by the Project Director (Appendix G).
PHASE 5: COMPLETION OF FINAL REPORT TO KCHD
In the final phase of the project, the Project Director prepared a draft of the final report.
The final report provided results from the EAS, MAS, WVMS, evaluation forms, and Healthy
11 | H E A L T H Y V E N D I N G T O O L K I T P R O J E C T
RESULTS & EVALUATION
The results are discussed based on attainment of the baseline objectives originally set for
the healthy vending project. Please refer to Appendix H which provides a key activity
chart; listing all key tasks carried out under each objective, along with a time frame, date of
completion and evaluation of each tasks. Time frame and date of completion that did not
occur before or at the time allotted is highlighted in yellow and justified in the appropriate
section. In addition, refer to Appendix B which provides e-mail communications between
Project and Co-Project Director for reference as appropriate. Each objective will be
addressed in terms of completion and an evaluation will follow each objective.
Objective 1: By January 16th, 2009, the Project Director will meet with Knox Co-
Project Director to discuss needs for healthy vending option at worksites in East
Project Director and Co Project Director successfully met as scheduled, January 16th, 2009.
Both parties developed generated a lists of activities needed to be completed pertaining to
the Healthy Vending project. The Co-Project Director provided the Project Director a list of
the 2006 KCHD vending policy along with the revised version (aka the New Knox County
Healthy Vending Policy) that is currently used by the KCHD. The Project Director met all
deadlines for the mentioned objective.
Objective 2: By January 31, 2009 the Project Director will develop 2 surveys; an
Employee Survey Assessment and Manager Survey Assessment using literature and
Prior to the development of the Healthy Vending Toolkit, the Project Director dedicated the
remaining month of January on researching existing literature on vending machine usage.
Two surveys (EAS and MAS) were developed to gain information on the perception of
healthy vending machines needs among stakeholders particularly managers and
employees in the Knoxville Area. An additional survey of the vending machine
environment was also developed (WVMS). Frequent communication between Project
Director and Co-Project were carried out for feedback on the surveys. It took the Project
Director longer than expected to review and finalize the survey questions due to scheduling
conflicts. A final draft of all surveys was e-mailed to the Co-Project Director on January
28th, 2009; a week later than the original deadline. The survey links were disseminated to
ET Wellness Roundtable Committee on January 30th, 2009; 9 days from the original
deadline allowing the Co-Project Director one last final look before sending the surveys.
Objective 3: By February 6th 2009, the Project Director will utilize developed
Worksite Vending Machines survey to identify foods and beverages available to
employees in vending machines at Knox County Health Department and the City
Council Building in Knoxville.
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On February 6th, 2009, the Project Director met with the Co-Project Director at the KCHD to
survey the KCHD Vending Machines. After surveying the KCHD vending machines, the
Project and Co-Project Director went to the City Council Building about 4 miles from the
KCHD and surveyed the vending machines located at that particular worksite.
In comparing the two surveyed worksites in regards to food and beverages offered in
vending machine, some key observations are worth commenting on. The first is that there
is a clear distinction that the KCHD has implemented the New Healthy Vending Policy
100% through the types of foods offered in each vending machine. Regular soda was not
offered in any of the beverage vending machines at the KCHD and the City Counsel Building
differed demonstrating that the worksite has not fully implemented the vending policy
proposed. In addition, foods offered in the vending machines at the KCHD consisted mainly
of low fat items (baked chips), low sugar items (diet drinks, water) as well as healthy nuts
(mixed nuts, granola). The City Counsel Building offered a variety of higher calorie, sugary,
and fat foods (cinnabons, twinkies, regular chips, chocolate candy bars) (Appendix D).
Objective 4: By February 20th 2009, the Project Director will analyze feedback from
the Employee and Manager surveys on the SurveyMonkey website to generate a list
of employees and managers perceptions of vending machines at worksites.
Seventeen Manager Surveys and 24 Employee Surveys were completed online via Survey
Monkey. The surveys provided valuable information pertaining to the perceptions of
vending machines at the worksite. The lists below are the main findings from the surveys
distributed to managers and employees affiliated with the ET Wellness Committee via
Survey Monkey (Appendix C).
Manager Surveys Results:
88.2% reported offering vending machines at the worksite
There is inconsistency in who is responsible for vending machines at the worksites
Healthier beverage choices are provided (60%)
Healthier food choices are not provided (64%)
Vending machines are for employees and not for the business or profit (93%)
There is no existing vending policy at the workplace (92%)
Managers are willing to provide and support healthy vending (100%). Specifically
offering lower calorie & sugary foods and beverages (100%)
Main concern with implementing healthy vending is customer preference and sales
volume to support vendor stocking healthy items.
Employee Survey Results:
Reported vending machine were not part of healthy environment (67%)
92% would purchase healthy foods if made available
63% strongly agreed that they wanted healthy foods available
Snack taste (75%), Hunger and fat content in a snack (54/2%), and how healthy a
snack is (50%) were very important in choosing snack foods at the vending
machines (Table 1)
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Amount of carbohydrates in a snack (62.5%), calories, value for money (50%),
buying usual snack food (50%) and snack price (45.8) were somewhat important in
choosing snack foods at the vending machines (Table 1)
Trying as snack I’ve never had before was reported not at all important (Table 1)
Category Not at all Somewhat Very
important important important
Trying a snack I’ve never 87.5% 12.5% 0%
Snack Taste 0% 25% 75%
Snack Price 8.3% 45.8% 45.8%
Number of calories in snack 4.2% 50% 45.8%
Amount of fat in a snack 8.3% 37.5% 54.2%
Amount of Carbohydrates 16.7% 62.5% 20.8%
in a snack
How healthy a snack is 12.5% 37.5% 50%
Watching my weight 12.5% 41.7% 45.8%
Value for my money 4.2% 50% 45.8%
Buying my usual snack 29.2% 50% 20.8%
How hungry I am 8.3% 37.5% 54.2%
Table 1: Influences on vending machine choices
Objective 5: By February 23rd, 2009, the Project Director will present survey results
to the Co-Project Director to discuss feedback from the Employee and Manager
surveys and worksite vending machine visits for the further development of the
vending machine toolkit.
On February 23rd, 2009, the Project Director and Co-Project Director held a meeting at
10:45am to discuss results from all the surveys used in the project. The major findings
from the surveys discussed in the previous objective were discussed. Survey responses
were used as a guide in developing the Healthy Vending Toolkit to tailor the targeted
audience need for vending machines.
Objective 6: By February 23rd, 2009, the Project Director will meet with Co-Project
Director and UT Faculty Advisor to identify strengths and weakness and/or progress
thus far with the project.
On February 23rd, 2009 a meeting was held to discuss the healthy vending project and offer
feedback to the Project Director. The Co-Project Director and UT Faculty Advisory both
provided the Project Director with feedback to strengthen and enhance the project
proposal. The meeting lasts about an hour and a copy of the draft of the proposal with
14 | H E A L T H Y V E N D I N G T O O L K I T P R O J E C T
feedback was provided for the Project Director. The meeting was a success and valuable
feedback was obtained both through verbal and written communication from UT Faculty
Advisor and Co-Project Director.
Objective 7: By March 13th, 2009 the Project Director will complete the final draft of
the healthy vending toolkit which will be delivered to the Co-Project Director for
The Project Director used most of the month of February researching various worksite
vending policies as a reference to the Healthy Vending Toolkit created in this project. A
draft of the vending toolkit was sent to the Co-Project Director on the original deadline set;
however the Co-Project Director was not able to turn the draft around in time for the
Project Director to make the revisions to the toolkit on March 3rd, 2009 as determined
originally. A follow-up e-mail about providing feedback on the draft of the toolkit was sent
by the Project Director to the Co-Project Director March 11th, 2009. Feedback from the Co-
Project Director was received March 12th, 2009. Revisions were made promptly by the
Project Director and Healthy Vending Toolkit was finalized on time; March 13th, 2009
(Appendix B, H-I).
Objective 8: On March 26th, 2009, the Project Director will present the proposed
Healthy Vending Toolkit to the East Tennessee Wellness Roundtable as determined
by the completion of a training evaluation form completed by those present.
Beginning March 10th, 2009 the Project Director began to prepare a visual presentation for
the ET Wellness Roundtable. The visual presentation was developed with the intended
population being worksite managers (Appendix E). On March 26th, 2009, the Healthy
Vending Toolkit project was presented at the BB&T bank in downtown Knoxville at 9am.
The overarching message in the presentation was the increasing prevalence in overweight
and obesity in has been a result of the changes in our environment over the past decades.
Therefore, changes in smaller environments such as worksites are a stepping-stone as
managers have more control over the types of foods that are in vending machines. Most
importantly, the Healthy Vending Toolkit presented offers a step by step guide to planning,
implementing and sustaining healthy vending policies in the workplace.
Approximately 30 individual were present at the Healthy Vending Toolkit presentation. A
short evaluation form was developed by the Project Director to determine appropriateness
and usefulness of the information presented (Appendix F).
A total of 23 evaluation forms were returned by individuals attending. All attendees
reported the presentation providing information that was very useful (78%) or useful
(22%) to implementing and sustaining healthy vending at the worksite. Reports also
revealed 86% found the presentation to be very useful or useful in increasing willingness
to implement healthy vending at the worksite. Seventy eight percent reported the
information provided during the presentation increased their ability to implement healthy
vending at the worksite.
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Common themes from the open-ended questions revealed that the audience was alarmed
of the obesity statistics in the state of Tennessee. All attendees who returned an evaluation
form seem to mention how the Healthy Vending Toolkit presentation raised their
awareness of the obesity epidemic and how there needs to be a change to improve health.
Finally, the Co-Project Director evaluated the Project Director on various categories on a
scale of 1(poor) – 5(outstanding). The Project Director was rated either good (3), above
average (4) or outstanding (5) in every category (Appendix G).
16 | H E A L T H Y V E N D I N G T O O L K I T P R O J E C T
DISCUSSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS
The main outcome of this project was to develop a vending toolkit to help guide and
support local area business managers in their implementing and sustaining healthy
vending at the worksite. A survey of the stakeholders revealed the need for healthy
vending at the worksite.
There has been a rapidly growing interest in the relation between changes in the
environment and its effect on dietary intake as well as physiological outcomes such as
weight (2, 8, 12, 13). With recognition that the overweight and obesity epidemic is a great
concern as it is linked to many health diseases, health advocates have urged changes in
various areas including the worksite environment (9, 10, 11). The Healthy Vending Toolkit
developed in this project will offer interested parties with the tools needed to implement
and sustain healthy vending. Evaluations from the stakeholders were very positive
confirming the usefulness of the Healthy Vending Toolkit.
Overall, the project allowed the Project Director to gain experience in developing a toolkit.
The skills acquired in this project can be transferred on to other projects in the future. The
strengths found in this project were the exposure to first hand collaborative work with
outside agencies (e.g. KCHD), oral and written communications practice, budgeting practice
& budgeting justification, organization of grant proposal, exposure to various methods of
data collection and practice, basic data analysis and interpretation, presentation
development, and responsibility. The following paragraph will discuss recommendations
to improve the project experience.
The first recommendation is to enhance skill and professional development through
evaluation of both Project Director & Co-Project Director. This recommendation is based
on the need for students to identify strengths and weaknesses early on in order to work on
those skills and improve them accordingly. Evaluating the Co-Project Director will also
allow students the opportunity in evaluating outside team members. The evaluation could
include oral and written communication skills, punctuality, professionalism etc. The last
recommendation is to encourage students to utilize previous projects conducted in the
course as a guide to minimize confusion on what needs to be completed in their respective
projects. Perhaps the faculty in charge of the classroom can bring to class a few examples
of those completed assignments to show to students early on and directions on where
those assignments could be found.
To conclude, the project was a great exposure and opportunity to work with the
community. The skills and experience gained from this project is part of the learning
experience and professional development in the field.
17 | H E A L T H Y V E N D I N G T O O L K I T P R O J E C T
1. Allender S., & Rayner M. The burden of overweight and obesity-related ill health in the UK.
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2. Popkin BM., Duffey K., Gordon-Larsen P. Environmental influences on food choice, physical
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