They are fakes, phony, and imitations. And they're helping to educate Utah's children to make good choices about food.
Full-size modified snack vending machines are beginning to appear in Utah schools and public venues. The machines look real, but each machine has fake products and won't take money or provide any snacks. But push its buttons and it will give some humorous advice about the selected snack, and perhaps suggest a healthier alternative.
The fake vending machines are part of Intermountain Healthcare's LiVe Well public service program, which encourages kids to eat healthy and be active.
Each machine contains a full selection of phony products such as candy, chips, and cookies. It's intended to help kids understand the importance of healthy food choices in a fun, entertaining way.
The machines provide humorous health-tip advice such as:
- "It may taste good to your mouth, but your digestive system's gonna make you pay for it later."
- "How about you run to the grocery store and pick up some fresh fruit or somethin'? You could use a healthy snack and the run wouldn't hurt either."
- "Onion Rings: Never mind what these do to your body, think of what they do to your breath."
If you can't get to the location of one of the fake vending machines, visit the intermountainhealthcare.org/live-well website for a virtual machine.
The LiVe Well campaign also includes advertising, school assembly presentations, educational materials for health providers, and a family-friendly website with features such as interactive games and quizzes and links to resources parents can rely on for support (intermountainhealthcare.org/live-well).
"Our goal with the LiVe Well campaign is to approach this important issue from a child's point of view and offer positive, helpful solutions for families," said Intermountain's Dr. Tamara Sheffield. "LiVe Well can help children be more physically active and make healthy food choices. By coordinating with parents, schools and the medical community, we can reverse the direction of this crisis."