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Council launches ‘healthy’ vending machines to curb obesity

25 Sep 2018
A new initiative will see healthy vending machines stocked with ‘natural ingredients only' items launched across Shropshire Council, to help ‘transform’ eating habits.

The brainchild of Shropshire Council's Help2Change team, the Food4Health scheme will see vending machines stocked with a range of fruit, nut and seed items installed across the county.

Products have be created in partnership with Peterborough-based food and packaging firm, Delicious Ideas Food Group (DIFG), with the aim of creating a “new, own-label, healthy grab 'n' go range to sell from vending machines in selected Shropshire sites.”

DIFG chief executive, Jonathan Potter, commented: “We were pleased to be contacted by Help2Change, whose views on healthy snacking align with our own.

‘In most vending machines, snacks high in saturated fats, salt, and sugar are often the only choice for consumers - a contributing factor to the UK's growing obesity crisis.

“Our creation of a high protein fruit, nut and seed range, to encourage better eating habits is a small step encouraging healthier living.

“If the initial trial goes well, the council's move could mark the beginning of a wider scale roll out to other venues in Shropshire, including more libraries, fitness centres, gyms and other communal areas with high footfall.

“Specially-selected foods and drinks made with 100% natural ingredients are now available through machines at three Shropshire libraries in Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Ludlow.

Kevin Lewis from Help2Change, added: “People are tempted by chocolate bars, crisps and fizzy drinks – all full of sugar.

“We are trying to buck that trend and give people access to a healthy range of snacks through vending machines in public buildings.”