Date of Award

Summer 7-19-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Murugi Ndirangu, PhD

Second Advisor

Jana Kicklighter, PhD, RD

Third Advisor

Patricia Garrett, MS, RD


Purpose: Vending machines are a component of the food environment that influences dietary choices. Previous vending machine studies have focused on schools and work sites. The purpose of this study was to utilize the Nutrition Environment Measurements Survey-Vending (NEMS-V) online tool to evaluate and rank the nutritional value of the vending environment of a large urban university.

Methods: A sample size of 40 vending machines at Georgia State University (GSU) was chosen. A list of products in each machine was recorded and given either a red, yellow or green ranking based on their nutrient content. Finally, the NEMS-V online tool was used to generate a report card for each individual machine and for the entire university.

Results: No vending machines were given either the Gold (greater than 50% items ranked green or yellow) or Silver (greater than 40% items ranked green or yellow) ranking. Five machines were given the Bronze level ranking, which meant the machines contained at least 30% yellow or green items. The remaining 35 machines contained less than 30% green or yellow items and were therefore not able to be awarded a ranking. Out of the 40 total machines sampled, less than 30% of them could be ranked and therefore the university could not be given an overall award. Conclusions: The poor nutritional quality of the vending environment at Georgia State University indicates a need for change. Improving the number of vending items from red to yellow or green will offer more variety and more nutritious choices for students.


Included in

Nutrition Commons