Your April 26 article "Snack Machines Try to Shake Junk-Food Image" reports on an interesting marketing gimmick (manufacturers' response to the public's perception that unhealthy vending machine snacks are contributing to obesity), but fails to consider how that response might, in fact, affect the problem of rising obesity rates that it purports to address.
First, with the exception of yogurt and fresh fruit, nearly all the foods mentioned as examples of healthy substitutes for the traditional candy/salty snack offerings provide as many calories as, if not more calories than, the traditional choices, while contributing relatively little in the way of needed vitamins, minerals or fiber.
And when it comes to fighting obesity, fewer calories is the key, not the perception that a food may provide more protein or a few more micrograms of a vitamin or mineral.
Second, nowhere is the point made that what is needed to prevent obesity is a more physically active lifestyle, not simply food calories in a different form.
Sydne Jennifer Newberry
Vending machine companies should defiantly replace junk food with healthier alternatives.
Every day at school, I see the majority of the student body lined up to purchase sugary, fatty cookies and candies.
These same students ignore the permanent damage they are doing to their bodies and delude themselves into thinking that the minimum requirements of physical education will make up for these daily indulgences.
Studies have already shown a decrease in teenage obesity after sodas were removed from school campuses.
Just as students followed the change from sodas to juice, they will follow the change from junk food to healthy snacks.
By putting healthy snacks in the vending machines, vending machine companies would be taking a more aggressive approach to eradicating obesity among adolescents.