SALT LAKE CITY -- Talking snack vending machines that don't take money or dispense any products are making their way into Utah schools. They're part of Intermountain Healthcare's LiVe public service program, which encourages kids to eat healthy and be active.
The modified full-size snack venders are stocked with a selection of fake candy, chips and cookies. When kids push their buttons, the machines offer humorous advice about the selected snack, and in some cases suggest a healthier alternative.
When students select the fake potato chips, they hear: "Potatoes come from Idaho; potato chips come from the deep fat fryer. Pressing the phony candy bar button elicits: "How about you run to the grocery store and pick up some fresh fruit or somethin'? You could use a healthy snack and the run wouldn't hurt either."
[ Interact with a virtual LiVe vending machine ]
The LiVe campaign also includes advertising, school assembly presentations, educational materials for health providers, and a family-friendly website.
"Our goal with the LiVe campaign is to approach this important issue from a child's point of view and offer positive, helpful solutions for families," said Intermountain's Dr. Tamara Sheffield. "LiVe can help children be more physically active and make healthy food choices. By coordinating with parents, schools and the medical community, we can reverse the direction of this crisis."
Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based system of 22 nonprofit hospitals, 185 clinics, a medical group, a health plan and other health services.