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Healthy Vending Iowa

Overview

Healthy Vending Iowa was developed by the Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Nutrition and Health Promotion (IDPH) and the Iowa State University Extension Office.  The intervention includes the Nutrition Environment Measurement Survey – Vending (NEMS-V), which builds on the nationally recognized NEMS tools from Emory University and provides an assessment of the percentages of color-coded foods and beverages in the vending machine:

  • green-coded (provides a serving of fruit, vegetable, low-fat dairy, or whole grain and meets Dietary Guidelines),
  • yellow-coded (does not provide a serving of fruit, vegetable, low-fat dairy, or whole grain but meets Dietary Guidelines), or
  • red-coded (does not meet Dietary Guidelines).

Following the NEMS-V assessment, a Vending Machine Report Card is generated that indicates how many food and beverage items need to be changed to green or yellow in order to earn a Bronze (at least 30% of yellow or green food and beverage items), Silver (at least 40% of yellow or green food and beverage items), or Gold (at least 50% of yellow or green food and beverage items) award.  Action steps are provided to help make healthier choices available in vending machines and to eventually implement a vending policy.  A well-developed social marketing campaign (Mix-It-Up) was also developed to motivate employees to use the NEMS-V color-coded system to snack healthier.  This marketing campaign is tailored to white or blue collar workers and includes posters, product labels, newsletters, and other materials.

Time in the field: The intervention has been in the field since 2008. 

Intended population: The primary audience at public or private worksites is employees.  At state- or county-owned buildings, rest areas, or parks, the primary audience includes employees and/or visitors.

Primary setting(s): The primary settings intended to adopt the intervention include public or private worksites and state- or county-owned buildings, rest areas, or parks.