Vending machine foods: evaluation of nutritional composition

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António Raposo
Conrado Carrascosa
Esteban Pérez
Ana Tavares
Esther Sanjuán
Pedro Saavedra
Rafael Millán


consumer, food choices, nutritional assessment, vending machines


The nutritional quality of vending machine foods may be a factor that contributes to significantly increase obesity and associated diseases, and the vending industry is significantly growing worldwide. This study aims to evaluate the nutritional composition of vending machine foods and to compare it with the consumption of the Gran Canaria population.

Food products from 74 snack and 71 refrigerated vending machines located in Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), and on university campuses, were nutritionally assessed. The percentages of sales per food type were accessed during a 12 month-period to verify user preferences. Significant differences (p <0.05) were found in the content of nutrients compared with the Kruskal-Wallis test with all the food groups. Sandwiches (wholemeal and white bread) had the lowest energy levels, while croissants had the highest. We highlight the increased sodium content in baguettes compared to the other foods.

The findings suggest that vending machine foods contain more fat/saturated fat, calories and sodium than recommended. Further studies on the nutritional assessment of vending machine foods, governments’ awareness and policies that promote the intake of healthy foods are essential to increase the amount of foods with an appropriate nutritional profile according to recommendations in vending machines.

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