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University of California San Francisco

Give to UCSF

Campus Vending Machines Offer a Smarter Way to Snack

By Lisa Cisneros

We all know that we should eat healthier, but it's so easy to falter in the presence of a rich chocolate bar or salty bag of chips -- typical vending machine fare. Sure, these treats may satisfy your hunger that instant, but what about the long-term effects? That's where Action Vending comes in. UCSF contracts with Action Vending, which provides beverage, snack and food vending machine equipment, brand name products and personalized service in Northern California. In alignment with UCSF's mission statement, advancing health worldwide™, Action Vending is stocking campus machines with healthier snack choices, giving the campus community more options and the same convenience. The "Your Choice" healthier food campaign is being tested first at medical center locations: Moffitt hospital and Mount Zion. "We wanted to pilot in medical center locations first to determine if and how it affected sales," says Tamara Villarina, retail services assistant. The foods and beverages offered adhere to standards based on research by the National Consensus Panel on School Nutrition of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy. Foods that fall within these guidelines will be marked with a special sticker to make them easy to identify. As always, partial proceeds from these new vending machines will fund concerts, outings and other campus enrichment activities for the UCSF community. All beverages offered in each vending machine shall be one of a combination of the following: * Water with no additives * 100 percent fruit juice with no added sugars, artificial flavors or colors * Dairy milk, nonfat, 1 percent and 2 percent only * Plant derived (i.e. rice, almond, soy, etc.) milks * Artificially sweetened beverage that does not exceed 50 calories per 12-ounce container (teas, electrolyte replacements) * Other noncaloric beverage, such as coffee, tea and diet soda All foods offered in each vending machine will meet the following criteria: * Less than 35 percent calories from fat, with the exception of nuts and seeds; snack mixes and other foods of which nuts are a part must meet the 35 percent standard * Less than 10 percent calories from saturated fat * Does not contain trans fats added during processing (hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated oils) * Less than 35 percent total weight from sugar and caloric sweeteners, with the exception of fruits and vegetables that have not been processed with added sweeteners and fats * Less than 360 mg of sodium per serving