Objective: To evaluate the effects of lowering prices and increasing availability on sales of healthy foods and beverages from 33 vending machines in 4 bus garages as part of a multicomponent worksite obesity prevention intervention.
Methods: Availability of healthy items was increased to 50% and prices were lowered at least 10% in the vending machines in two metropolitan bus garages for an 18-month period. Two control garages offered vending choices at usual availability and prices. Sales data were collected monthly from each of the vending machines at the four garages.
Results: Increases in availability to 50% and price reductions of an average of 31% resulted in 10% to 42% higher sales of the healthy items. Employees were mostly price responsive for snack purchases.
Conclusions: Greater availability and lower prices on targeted food and beverage items from vending machines was associated with greater purchases of these items over an 18-month period. Efforts to promote healthful food purchases in worksite settings should incorporate these two strategies.
From the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.
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