Contra Costa County

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					  Consumer Contributions to
Contra Costa County’s Vending
       Machine Policy
      Network Annual Conference
            Sacramento, CA
            January 23, 2008
 Community Wellness & Prevention Program
• December 14, 2004 Contra Costa Co Board
  of Supervisors adopted policy in the interest
  of health of county residents and employees
  who work in or visit county facilities
• 50% of beverages and snacks/food in each
  vending machine will meet certain nutrition
   Summary of Vending Machine
• All machines on county owned or leased
• Facility requirements (plumbing, electrical)
• Health and safety operation
• Nutritional Standards
  – 50% items meet specific criteria
• Costs are responsibility of each department
       Guiding the Consumer
• Post notice of healthy choices at the point of
• Place indicators of snack/beverage items
  that meet nutrition criteria at machines
• Provide guidelines and assistance to
 Consumer Involvement in Process

• Poster Design
  – 2 Focus groups (English/Spanish languages)
  – FSNE eligible consumers
     • Reaction to poster design
     • Comments about using green stars to indicate
       healthy foods in vending machines
    Sample Focus Group Comments
•   Use bright colors
•   Use simpler words like sugar not sweetener
•   “I like that it is in Spanish and English”
•   “I’m a label reader now, so info is useful”
•   “I would show my daughter where the stars
    are so she could see what is healthier”
                  Next Steps
• Instruct vendors to display
  – Posters
  – Green Stars

• Survey consumers after 6 months
  – 3 Locations within 2 Health Centers
  – Conducted in English and Spanish
        Survey Results n=70
       English n=43 Spanish n=27

Did you notice the “Smart Choices”
poster on the vending machine before
taking this survey?
         Yes                 No
     n 21 = 30%          n 49 = 70%
           Survey Results n=45
       English n=35 Spanish n=10
Do the green stars mean the snack food items
Cheaper?                              0

Healthier?                            29

A new item?                           1

Don’t know what green star            15
stands for
          Survey Results n=40
          English n=37 Spanish n=3

If you prefer items that have the green stars is
it because you
Like what’s available?                   14

Want healthier snacks?                    24

Other                                     2
        Survey Results n=33
        English = 30 Spanish n=3

If you prefer items without the green stars
it is because
Green star snacks cost too            2
Don’t like the green star items?      6
Other                                25
   A Few Consumer Comments
• “Glad to have some options”
• “I buy water or nuts because I want
  something healthier”
• Reasons for choosing non-starred item
  – “Craving” a salty, sweet or chocolate snack
  – Want candy, chips or a soda and “nothing else
    would do”
     50/50 Vending Machines
• Do provide a healthy option
• Do not necessarily influence behavior
• Design/select point of purchase
  information that is effective
• Use consumer feedback to test results
       Under Consideration
• Propose 100% healthy foods be offered
  in patient accessible machines located
  in health centers and hospital, or

• Eliminate unhealthy food offerings in
  patient accessible areas (machine
        Detailed Information
• Conference Materials
  – Copy of Contra Costa County Policy & Poster
• CA Center for Public Health Advocacy
  Website (Contra Costa County)
  – Outlines Key Steps Taken to Adopt Policy
  – Lessons Learned
  – Contact Information: Donna Coit, RD, MPH

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