I hate to be the one to break it to you, but we are being lied to. This image of a healthy vending machine is viral across Facebook….but the items are not healthy. I don’t fully understand why we share this with the world and say, ‘eat this, it’s healthy.” While this vending machine offers better options, they are not healthy. By definition:
1: enjoying health and vigor of body, mind, or spirit
2: envincing health
3: conducive to health
1: the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit;especially : freedom from physical disease or pain
2: the general condition of the body
…the definitions of healthy and health are ambiguous. As an educated and informed individual, I perceive a healthy food and one that will provide macro- and micro-nutrients that will benefit my health, either as improvement or maintenance. With that in mind, let me use the popchips! as an example. First, I applaud the product for its choice in tagline – the healthier choice.
What do the nutrition facts have to offer? Some fat – which can help with brain function. Some sodium and potassium, which we need to maintain a healthy hydration level. Carbohydrates, but we don’t know the source of the bulk of them (not fiber or sugars). And a little protein. With such low calories, we cannot expect popchips! to be a high source of protein, so that is a non-issue. There are no fake ingredients, which is wonderful. But all in all, do popchips! add value to my health? Or is a product healthy if it does not harm us or worsen our health?
Again, notice that popchips! self-promote as healthier, so not necessarily healthy. SO…who then labeled them healthy and put them into a so-called healthy vending machine? And why do we not call this a healthier vending machine?
I want to also point out that this healthy vending machine offers numerous energy and protein bars. If you eat these bars in the same manner you might eat a typical candy bar, you will gain weight. Some individuals may even be putting their liver health at risk if they begin a regime of eating these products without an equivalent caloric expenditure and activity level. I am not stating that these are bad products, just that they are not design for regular snacking…and could actually be harmful to health if consumed in a manner in which they were not intended to be consumed. But they are in the healthy vending machine….
I’ll leave it at this. Those who have spoken to me in the last 24 hours know how worked up I am about this topic. I am not attacking the products in the vending machine, there is a time and a place for everything and they are perfectly fine to consume in moderation. My angst is bigger: why is it okay to label them healthy? I urge you to ask yourself, what makes a product healthy?
If you ask me…if there was any processing involved, it’s more than likely not healthy….