Vending machines are often the go-to when you need a quick snack. But a group of researchers wants you to pick something healthy — by making you wait for that candy bar.
The scientists developed a new vending machine system that delays the release of a not-so-nutritious snack by 25 seconds.
Vending machines have long been the target for healthy food choices and combating the country's obesity epidemic, despite there not being much evidence the machines have any impact. One study on schools found no link between unhealthy vending options and elementary students' BMI.
And the researchers behind this new study found their delay caused only a 2-5 percent increase in healthy snack purchases.
Nevertheless, local and state officials have mandated what goes into their state's vending machines. The Food and Drug Administration requires that nutrition and calorie information be clearly visible for vending machine snacks. And more schools are opting for healthier options in their vending machines to help curb childhood obesity.