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Open AccessArticle

Development and Validation of the Vending Evaluation for Nutrient-Density (VEND)ing Audit

1
Department of Public Health Food Studies and Nutrition, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA
2
Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
3
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
4
Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
5
School of Food and Agriculture, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5735, USA
6
Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
7
Division of Animal & Nutritional Sciences, School of Agriculture, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
8
Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
9
Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA
10
Department of Molecular, Cellular & Biomedical Sciences, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA
11
Health and Nutritional Sciences Department, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030514
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Built Environments, Food Environments, and Public Health)
Background: This paper describes the development and validation of the Vending Evaluation for Nutrient-Density (VEND)ing audit to comprehensively evaluate vended products based upon healthfulness, price and promotion, and machine accessibility. Methods: A novel vending nutrient-density score was created to determine the healthfulness of vended snack/beverage products. Field tested in United States colleges, VENDing audit (∑nutrient-density + 10 × % healthy products) and Support sub-scores (price + promotion + accessibility) were calculated for snack/beverage machines. Higher scores indicate more healthful vending options and supports for choosing healthfully. Nutrition Environment Measures Survey-Vending (NEMS-V) was used to validate the nutrient-density score for a sub-sample of machines. Sensitivity and specificity were computed by comparing the number of healthy snacks/beverages determined by NEMS-V and the VENDing nutrient-density scores. Results: Researchers conducted the VENDing audit on 228 snack/beverage vending machines at 9 universities within the United States and used both VENDing and NEMS-V on 33 snack and 52 beverage vending machines. Mean VENDing audit scores were 4.5 ± 2.0 (2.6, 3.4) and 2.6 ± 2.0 (0, 12) for snack/beverage machines, respectively. The number of products considered healthy assessed with both the VENDing nutrient-density scores and the NEMS-V were positively correlated for beverages (r = 0.687, p < 0.001) and snacks (r = 0.366, p < 0.05). The sensitivity was excellent for beverages (0.83) and moderate for snacks (0.69); while the specificity was moderate for both beverages (0.66) and snacks (0.50). Conclusions: The VENDing audit uses unique, valid, and reliable nutrient-density scoring to evaluate snacks/beverages along a continuum of healthful criteria and comprehensively evaluates the full vending environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: vending machines; food environment; snacks; beverages; nutrient-density score vending machines; food environment; snacks; beverages; nutrient-density score
MDPI and ACS Style

Horacek, T.M.; Yildirim, E.D.; Matthews Schreiber, M.; Byrd-Bredbenner, C.; Colby, S.; White, A.A.; Shelnutt, K.P.; Olfert, M.D.; Mathews, A.E.; Riggsbee, K.; Franzen-Castle, L.; Morrell, J.S.; Kattelmann, K. Development and Validation of the Vending Evaluation for Nutrient-Density (VEND)ing Audit. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 514.

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