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J Am Diet Assoc. 2004 Jan;104(1):90-3.

Effects of promotional materials on vending sales of low-fat items in teachers' lounges.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Children's Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


This study examined the impact of an environmental intervention in the form of promotional materials and increased availability of low-fat items on vending machine sales. Ten vending machines were selected and randomly assigned to one of three conditions: control, or one of two experimental conditions. Vending machines in the two intervention conditions received three additional low-fat selections. Low-fat items were promoted at two levels: labels (intervention I), and labels plus signs (intervention II). The number of individual items sold and the total revenue generated was recorded weekly for each machine for 4 weeks. Use of promotional materials resulted in a small, but not significant, increase in the number of low-fat items sold, although machine sales were not significantly impacted by the change in product selection. Results of this study, although not statistically significant, suggest that environmental change may be a realistic means of positively influencing consumer behavior.

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