Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 107, Issue 4–5, pp e417–e423 | Cite as

Beverages and snacks available in vending machines from a subset of Ontario secondary schools: Do offerings align with provincial nutrition standards?

  • Taryn Orava
  • Steve Manske
  • Rhona HanningEmail author
Quantitative Research


OBJECTIVES: As part of an evaluation of Ontario’s School Food and Beverage Policy (P/PM 150) in a populous Ontario region, this research aimed to: 1) identify, describe and categorize beverages and snacks available for purchase in secondary school vending machines according to P/PM 150 standards; and 2) compare the number and percentage of beverages and snacks within P/PM 150 categories (Sell Most, Sell Less, Not Permitted) from Time I (2012/2013) to Time II (2014).

METHODS: Representatives from consenting secondary schools assisted researchers in completing a Food Environmental Scan checklist in Times I and II. Sourced nutritional content information (calories, fats, sodium, sugars, ingredients and % daily values) was used to categorize products. The number and percentage of products in P/PM 150 categories were compared between Times by paired t-tests.

RESULTS: Of 26 secondary schools participating in total, 19 participated in both Time periods and were included in the study. There were 75 beverages identified (59 Time I, 45 Time II), mostly water, juices and milk-based beverages; and 1 32 types of snacks (87 Time I, 103 Time II), mostly grain-based snacks, vegetable/fruit chips, and baked goods. A majority of schools offered one or more Not Permitted beverages (47% Time I, 58% Time II) or snacks (74% Time I, 53% Time II). Significantly more schools met P/PM 150 standards for snacks (p = 0.02) but not beverages in Time II.

CONCLUSION: Full P/PM 150 compliance was achieved by few schools, indicating that schools, school boards, public health, and food services need to continue to collaborate to ensure nutrient-poor products are not sold to students in school settings.

Key words

Food dispensers automatic nutrition policy schools public health 


OBJECTIFS: Dans le cadre de notre évaluation de la Politique concernant les aliments et les boissons dans les écoles de l’Ontario (note P/PM 150) dans une région densément peuplée de la province, nous avons cherché à: 1) identifier, décrire et catégoriser les boissons et collations en vente dans les distributeurs automatiques des écoles secondaires selon les normes de la note P/PM 150; et 2) comparer le nombre et le pourcentage de boissons et collations dans les catégories de la note P/PM 150 (Vendre le plus, Vendre moins, Vente non permise) entre la Période I (2012–2013) et la Période II (2014).

MÉTHODE: Les représentants des écoles secondaires consentantes ont aidé nos chercheurs à remplir une « analyse de l’environnement alimentaire » au cours des périodes I et II. Des informations d’autres sources sur la valeur nutritive (calories, matières grasses, sodium, sucres, ingrédients et % des valeurs quotidiennes) ont servi à catégoriser les produits. Le nombre et le pourcentage de produits dans les catégories de la note P/PM 150 entre les deux périodes ont été comparés à l’aide de tests t jumelés.

RÉSULTATS: Sur les 26 écoles secondaires participantes, 19 ont participé aux deux périodes et ont été incluses dans l’étude. Elles ont identifié 75 boissons (59 Période I, 45 Période II), principalement de l’eau, des jus et des boissons lactées; et 132 types de collations (87 Période I, 103 Période II), principalement des collations à base de céréales, des croustilles de légumes ou de fruits, et des produits de boulangerie. La majorité des écoles offraient une ou plusieurs boissons (47% Période I, 58% Période II) ou collations (74% Période I, 53% Période II) dont la vente n’était pas permise. Un nombre considérablement plus élevé d’écoles a respecté les normes de la note P/PM 150 pour les collations (p = 0,02), mais non pour les boissons, durant la Période II.

CONCLUSION: Peu d’écoles affichaient une conformité totale à la note P/PM 150, ce qui montre que les écoles, les conseils scolaires, la santé publique et les services alimentaires doivent poursuivre leur collaboration pour que des produits pauvres en éléments nutritifs ne soient pas vendus aux élèves en milieu scolaire.

Mots clés

distributeur automatique nourriture politique nutritionnelle école santé publique 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public Health and Health SystemsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Propel Centre for Population Health ImpactWaterlooCanada

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