17 Jan 2009

DHB trial shows healthier snacks preferred

2:30 pm on 17 January 2009

A trial of healthier food in vending machines shows people prefer to eat healthy snacks if given the choice.

The Waitemata District Health Board restocked its 14 vending machines for a year to reduce the among of junk food being consumed by staff, patients and visitors.

The vending machine makeover saw a 30% reduction of sugar and fat in the more than 50,000 snacks that were sold.

Unhealthy products were replaced with wholesome snacks. Other products such as chocolate bars were downsized to smaller portions.

The year-long trial found that 70% of those using the vending machines appreciated the major cut in the number of calories on offer. Sales also increased.

Waitemata DHB says the response was better than expected and is urging local councils and companies to follow its lead in helping to address the fight against obesity.