L to R: Kevin Buckalew; Raymond Chahoud, OSMIV; William H. Carter, MD; Roni Boggs and Suzanne Kemper, MPH
A team of health care professionals is working with a vending company to determine whether or not offering low calorie, non-beverage options in vending machines in a university and hospital-based setting will result in fewer calories consumed out of the machines on a monthly basis.
"The machines being studied are located in the WVU building and inside Memorial Hospital," said William H. Carter, MD, principal investigator. "The study will last for six months."
Several low-calorie items will be offered in the machines, which are managed by AVI Foodsystems. Those low-calorie items include Fiber One Bars, Special K Cracker Chips, Snyder's Ripple Potato Chips, Welch's Fruit Snacks, PopCorners Kettle Chips and Jack Links Beef Jerky.
"In general, items of less than 170 calories, and some fewer than 100 calories, have been added to the already existing menu items being offered within the machines," Carter said.
The team, which includes Carter; Raymond Chahoud, OSMIV; Suzanne Kemper, MPH; and Kevin Buckalew and Roni Boggs from AVI Foodsystems, hopes to present its findings at the 2014 Research Day in April.
"We also would like to possibly present at other local, state and national meetings, and perhaps obtain a publication," said Carter. "We hope we can show that the study will result in fewer calories consumed per machine without a loss of total items sold or a loss of total income per machine to the vending machine company (AVI). I am impressed that AVI is willing to be involved in a study that could possibly result in less income per machine."