New Labels on Putnam County Vending Machines Could Change How We Decide What to Drink. Doctor Explains

Cover Image: New Labels on Putnam County Vending Machines Could Change How We Decide What to Drink. Doctor Explains

In this article, Dr. Adriana Davis, Family Medicine, shares her expert insights of the findings and provides Florida residents with evidence-based recommendations for protecting their health.

Why This Matters to You

New research reveals that the introduction of traffic light and physical activity labels significantly affect consumer behavior.

What This Means for Your Health

"Green Lights on Labels Help Make Us Make Healthier Choices!" Dr. Adriana Davis, Family Medicine

Doctor's Expert Insights About Food Labeling and Your Health in Putnam County, Florida

Know this: "This new research shows that simple changes, like putting traffic light colors or exercise info on vending machine labels, can make a real difference in encouraging healthier drink choices. Red, yellow, and green stickers or labels showing how long you'd need to walk to burn off a drink's calories helped people cut back on sugary and unhealthy beverages. And the great news is these changes seem to have worked for the long haul!

This type of intervention can be pivotal in combating obesity and other related health issues by naturally encouraging better habits. So, the next step would be to test this in more places and see if these effective labeling strategies would positively impact how we buy food and drinks. This way, we can all make more informed and healthier choices in Florida." Dr. Adriana Davis, Family Medicine.

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Actionable Steps: What You Can Do Next

If you call Putnam County home and you're having a tough time with your weight or figuring out what to eat, here's some good news: chances are, your insurance will cover free classes to help you make better food choices and manage diabetes.

You should also know your A1c, cholesterol, and blood pressure values.

Also, The American College of Cardiology is a great resource for learning more about your ASCVD Risk. (Visit Site)

Health News Today: A new study shows that the way drinks are labeled on vending machines can steer people to choosing healthier options.

The Science Made Simple: Key Findings and What They Mean for Putnam County Residents

Traffic light labels drive healthier beverage choices

Traffic light labels (red/yellow/green) led to a "30% decrease in the mean monthly number of unhealthy beverages sold."

Physical activity labels also encourage better beverage selections

Physical activity calorie equivalent labels on vending machines resulted in a:

  • 34% reduction in monthly sales of unhealthy beverages.
  • 35% reduction in total beverage calories sold on a month over month basis.

Labeling all products--not just healthy ones--is more impactful

Putting labels only on the healthy items didn't really change what people bought, when compared to just having a sign about the beverage tax. When vending machines had traffic light labels, people tended to buy fewer calories each time they made a purchase.

Total calories sold monthly dropped with physical activity labels

People purchased 30 calories less per visit to vending machines with traffic light labels than they did at machines with physical activity labels.

Labeling effects persisted over the long-term

The impact of traffic light and physical activity labels on healthy choices was found to be working to reduce sales of unhealthy drinks for the entire 13 months of the study.


This study shows that using simple, easy-to-understand nutrition labels on vending machines, like traffic light colors or physical activity equivalents, can successfully nudge people to make healthier drink choices.

Medical News Today: What This Means for Your Health in Putnam County, Florida

The Bottom Line: Healthy coded labeling approaches could be a promising strategy for organizations and policymakers to encourage better public health.

"The investigation by Gibson et al3 is notable because it appears to be the first to use a randomized design to examine the effectiveness of different types of vending machine messaging interventions in a natural environment. Thus, the findings from this experimental field study address a crucial research gap in implementation science concerning best practices for healthy vending machine messaging interventions in applied contexts. It is a novel study with practical significance because it elucidates messaging opportunities to increase patron uptake of healthy vending machine products." Brenda Robles, Phd, MPH (Study Commentary)

What They're Saying: "This study also has several limitations. First, it was conducted in vending machines that were subject to city regulations that made them healthier than average, so results may not generalize to other vending machines or purchasing settings. Second, because the city required that all vending machines have some type of label for healthy items, we were unable to test a pure control group with no labeling intervention. Instead, beverage tax posters provided an interesting comparison group. Our test of tax salience messaging may have been diluted because some beverage tax posters fell off. Only one-quarter of participants reported noticing the tax reminders compared with 58% and 65% noticing the physical activity and traffic light messaging, respectively. There were differences in baseline sales by condition, although we adjusted for these. Still, customers in the physical activity locations (which had lower baseline sales) may have been less frequent vending consumers. Our customer response rate was 67%, which is higher than for studies recruiting outside urban food retailers.39 Finally, the start of the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from reaching our target customer sample size." (Study Source)

Read More Is Bakersfield eating its way to dementia? Doctor Explains

Health Standard Newswire: Simple labels make a big difference on beverage choices. Research shows that traffic light and physical activity labels on vending machines encourage healthier drink choices.

Health Facts That Matter: Key Statistics for Putnam County, Florida

The following health facts impact your physical health directly!

Did you know there were 50100 deaths from heart disease in Florida in 2021?

3.5% of you in Putnam County chronic kidney disease.

27.1% of you in Putnam County are smokers.

36.6% of you in Putnam County are obese.

All of these variables above play an important role in the outcomes of your overall health.

The Health Standard Newswire.