October 13th 2020

Too many children in Europe are overweight. The unregulated marketing of unhealthy products target to children, and the installation of vending machines stocked with unhealthy snacks in public venues, are contributing factors.

While innovative legislation on the regulation of the nutritional quality of food and beverages sold in vending machines in schools has become law in some European countries, it is not on the political agenda in others. However, an easy alternative solution could be to introduce a clause in all new tenders for vending machines, which states that the successful supplier must commit to ensuring that at least 50% of the products sold have a medium-to-small portion size, are low in saturated fat, salt, calories, and have no added sugar. This strategy, called “A vending machine for a friend”, was developed at CNR of Rome, with the support of SIPREC, the LHA and EHN, and with the alliance with teachers and students, is being rolled out in some Italian and Lithuanian high schools. Creating a healthy nutritional environment with the aim of encouraging healthier choices, is a real possibility.

This is the introduction of a report prepared Roberto Volpe, one of our colleagues from Siprec (Italy) and published in ‘High Blood Pressure & Cardiovascular Prevention (2020)’.

The report can be found here

From: European Heart Network