Vending machines in health centers

Vending machines in health centers

Um, why is this still even happening?

My family and I have been becoming more health conscious—spending more time at the rec center (which we really can’t afford, but then again, can you afford not to?), walking, and gardening in our free time. Much of it has been enjoyable, but there’s something that I just don’t understand.

When you see movies featuring a rec center or fitness business, there’s always some kind of health food bar where you can get, I don’t know, power smoothies and bananas or something. But our rec center just has vending machines featuring the same kinds of nasty calorie-laden, sugary or salty junk food you’ll find in, say, a school cafeteria—which shouldn’t be selling them either, by the way.

What the heck is with this? Is it a ploy to get you to stay unhealthy and thereby in need of the recreation center even more, or perhaps a simpler scenario in which the cheapest food is what’s available? Either way, I don’t like it, and it’s not just at the rec centers.

It’s in the schools, as I mentioned above. It’s at my daughter’s gymnastics studio (as well as other gymnastics and dance centers). It’s pretty much everywhere, and I’m getting really tired of everyone from Michelle Obama to supposed fitness gurus crying foul about obesity when all we have to choose from is the chocolate bar or the bag of chips!

Why not mandate that these machines HAVE to serve at least SOME healthy options? Better yet, why not get rid of the cash cows altogether (well, there was my answer at the same time) and install fresh fruit and vegetable bars, green tea options, and water refill stations instead? It’s more sustainable and healthy for all involved. Even granola bars and Gatorade would be better—and at least they’d make sense for the power athletes, after all.

I get that we can’t do this at, say, truck and rest stops (though we can have some healthy options available), but there is absolutely no reason why places you go to be healthy should continue to offer snacks and drinks that don’t allow you to be! Every time I leave the rec center seeing someone leave with a soda or a candy bar or an iced coffee (that last one tempts me every time), I just squint my eyes and shake my head, wondering why those options are available in the first place.