Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Shanta R. Dube

Second Advisor

Dr. Rodney Lun

Third Advisor

Jessica Todd


INTRODUCTION: Metabolic Syndrome is a group of disorders, abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high fasting blood sugar, that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases which is currently the leading cause of death in the US. Healthy eating behaviors are one modifiable risk that can prevent and even reverse some metabolic disorders. In college settings, vending machines are a popular way for students to access snacks between classes. However, frequently, nutritional information is not visible to students who use vending machines to purchase snacks.

AIM: The purpose of this capstone was to identify snacks and their nutritional composition from one classroom building at Georgia State University, in order to develop a preliminary informational brochure about healthy vending machine options.

METHODS: Data on snacks were collected from 9 of vending machines in GSU’s Classroom South Building. The student investigator took pictures of all snack vending machines and recorded specific names, location, and nutritional content (calories, total fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sodium, fiber, and glycemic load when available) on an Excel spreadsheet. Excel was used to compute very simple statistics.

RESULTS: Of the 64 snacks found in Classroom South’s vending machines, 14 snacks contained less than 200 calories, and 21 snacks contained less than 140mg of sodium.

Only 5 snacks contained appropriate amounts of calories, sodium, and saturated fat that meet healthy snacks guidelines. These snacks are Go Lite! popped chips, Popcorners white cheddar, goodness knows cranberry almond, Popcorners cheesy jalapeno, and Kind bar caramel almond.

DISCUSSION: Based on the findings, a brochure will be produced communicating the healthy vending machine options. Future evaluations on the brochure will be needed to understand the acceptability of use for students, faculty and staff to promote healthy snack choices at vending machines.