New Tool Used To Help Combat Obesity In Augusta - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

New Tool Used To Help Combat Obesity In Augusta

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Augusta, GA -

Obesity affects more than one in three Americans, and 17% of children. But now there is a way to help combat the disease in Augusta, one vending machine at a time.  WJBF News Channel 6's Barclay Bishop explains.

The Augusta-Richmond County Public Library recently signed a deal with H.U.M.A.N Healthy Vending, to have the new machines in their facility.  The food in the new machines aren't your average high caloric snacks and syrupy drinks.  These are healthy, clean, and tasty, alternatives to what many of us are used to seeing and eating.  While they're starting to send the message of health by putting them in the public library, the company says their goal is to change the way Augustans think of snacking.

"If you make the snacks available, and that's the key, you have to make them available, kids will, and adults will, eat those healthy snacks," said Terence Carroll, H.U.M.AN. Healthy Vending.  "If they know it's going to do something good to them, going to provide them good nutrition, it's going to impact their health, they will not choose the unhealthy and choose the healthy."

Soon Augusta could be seeing the healthy vending machines in schools.  That's because new requirements by the USDA, will nearly make obsolete, the unhealthy vending machines that we now see in schools. Soon, the USDA's Smart Snacks In School standard will kick in.  This new standard makes it mandatory that all schools which have lunch programs funded by the federal government, have strict guidelines on what foods they can serve.  With childhood obesity more than tripling in the last 30 years, this could be the beginning of putting an end to the potentially deadly disease.

"Once we start introducing them to the kids, they'll start going, when they go to the grocery store with their parents they'll start reading nutrition labels, and say, 'Oh is this healthy, this has too much high fructose syrup, or this has MSG, or artificial flavors or colors," said Yolanda Carroll, H.U.M.A.N. Healthy Vending.

You can expect to see the new H.U.M.A.N. vending machines in the public library over the next few weeks.  The company hopes to approach Richmond County school officials in the near future in regards to putting the machines in the schools. 

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