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Banning Vending Machines in Schools

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Were you aware of the dark side of vending machines? What if you heard that the so innocent drinks in your vending machine, at school, could be filled with diseases? Did you know that 44% of school districts have banned them, thinking that it could start making kids have a healthier, stronger diet, as of 2006? It is believed that vending machines are created to let kids buy unhealthy snacks for an affordable price. If that still doesn’t have you convinced, don’t forget about your teeth! Patterns of eating the unhealthy foods that are held in vending machines could lead to tooth decay. I know your thinking, “How could vending machines be harmful, they dispense snacks”, however many studies show that it is healthier to eat the school lunch, the food that might be undercooked, or filled with nasty stuff, you would never eat, than to eat from vending machines daily. Next time your hungry and want a snack, put your body before your cravings! It is IMPERATIVE to ban vending machines! In vending machines, there are unhealthy snacks that can be purchased for an affordable price, that most teens can easily get their hands on. What if I told you that, the average amount of calories in a snack is 249! The average cost for a drink or soda bottle would be $1.20, and the average cost for a soda can is about $.65. That is very cheap compared to many of the snacks you can get at any store/shop. 

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A University of a Sydney team analyzed the offerings in 61 campus vending machines and classified 95 percent of the available snacks as unhealthy. To put that into perspective, there are up to 29,000 unhealthy snack possibilities and only 1570 healthy snack possibilities. Clearly, vending machines are cheap and unhealthy. Even though snacks might be unhealthy, so are the drinks. Therefore, a second reason why vending machines should be banned is that the so innocent soft drinks that you might be drinking from a vending machine, are filled with disease. Some of the diseases that are in the sodas, you might have every day, include child obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis, and high blood pressure. According to the Journal of School Health, around 22% of children that would annually use a vending machine, could gain up to 14 pounds a year! Researchers at Hollins University, in Virginia, found nearly 90% of the drinks had bacteria in them. 48% of the drinks of a 30 drink machine, had traces of coliform bacteria. 11% of the coliform bacteria had E. Coli, which was mostly harmless, besides some being able to cause, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, and pneumonia, and 17% Chryseobacterium meningosepticum, which could sicken newborns, or adults, with weakened immune systems. Although your body will be damaged and probably less strong than a non-vending machine-snack, eater, your teeth might still, unfortunately, be decayed. Furthermore, my last reason is that unhealthy patterns of this “vending machine diet” could eventually lead to tooth decay. Many dentists are concerned about how their patients are “consuming record numbers of sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and non-nutritious that affect their teeth”, says the American Dental Association. You might think, “What if I don’t order a soda, or I get a juice or another drink?” Well, it’s not just soft drinks that could lead to tooth decay. Citrus drinks could also be a key leader in getting tooth decay. Eating patterns and food choices among children and teens are important factors that affect how quickly “youngsters” may develop tooth decay, says ADA (American Dental Association). A piece by Colgate, a very popular tooth-related organization, said that younger people are more influenced by the type of food sold in a vending machine. Therefore, if we start filling vending machines with healthier, more nutritious snacks, we can make a change! A final reason that I believe that vending machines can lead to tooth decay is how tooth decay occurs. Sticky, sugary, and acidy, foods/drinks are all causes of the infamous tooth decay. “The more sugar consumed, the more acid, which gets produced leading to decay,” says Oral-B.

Did you know about the dark side of vending machines? Remember, the next time you’re hungry, think about getting a healthier snack, a drink that can be disease, and bacteria-free, and your teeth, and if you want them in your mouth, or out. If that still doesn’t have you convinced, once in the cafeteria, I saw a kid order 4 snacks, from the machine, and then lose a tooth directly after! That is why it is IMPERATIVE to ban vending machines!

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