Vending machines offer lower prices for unhealthy options

Hallie Whitman, Staff Writer

During periods 4-1 and 4-2, long lines at vending machines are a common sight. Students gather their change and wait their turns to purchase a drink or snack to satisfy themselves.

Unfortunately, many students select sugar filled sodas, iced teas, or energy drinks, instead of water or any other healthier choice.

In recent years, campaigns promoting healthy and fit lifestyles featuring less sugar and more nutritious choices have gained momentum worldwide. Countless groups have worked to educate the general population about the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

At Schreiber, both administrators and nutrition experts from the community have worked to take several necessary steps to update the school’s food service in order to ensure that healthy food is featured prominently on the cafeteria’s menu and to eliminate unhealthy drinks and snacks.

However, in the school’s many vending machines, the prices of various drinks seem to contradict this emphasis on nutrition. While bottles of water cost $1.50, cans of soda, iced tea, and energy drinks cost only $1.00.

In a school that regularly emphasizes healthy eating and nutritious options in the cafeteria, it seems ironic to charge more for water than soda and other sugary drinks.

Sodas, iced teas, and energy drinks are packed with sugar, caffeine, and artificial substances such as high fructose corn syrup.

On the other hand, the human body uses water to flush out the body’s systems to protect from disease and toxins. Drinking water and staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The school has even installed a hydration station to encourage students to not only protect the environment, but also to drink water in lieu of unhealthy drinks.

In addition, students do not have to pay to refill a water bottle at the hydration station, further adding to the incentive to drink water.

Because of water’s obvious health benefits over soda, the school should encourage students to purchase water from the vending machines or refill bottles at the hydration station instead of buying the other unhealthier drinks most students usually select.

However, the vending machines’ prices send the opposite message.

Because of this price gap, it would be beneficial to reexamine the prices of drinks in the vending machine so they can better encourage students to lead healthier lifestyles.