Development and Validation of the Vending Evaluation for Nutrient-Density (VEND)ing Audit.

Academic Article


  • Background: This paper describes the development and validation of the Vending Evaluation for Nutrient-Density (VEND)ing audit to comprehensively evaluate vended products based upon healthfulness, price and promotion, and machine accessibility. Methods: A novel vending nutrient-density score was created to determine the healthfulness of vended snack/beverage products. Field tested in United States colleges, VENDing audit (∑nutrient-density + 10 × % healthy products) and Support sub-scores (price + promotion + accessibility) were calculated for snack/beverage machines. Higher scores indicate more healthful vending options and supports for choosing healthfully. Nutrition Environment Measures Survey-Vending (NEMS-V) was used to validate the nutrient-density score for a sub-sample of machines. Sensitivity and specificity were computed by comparing the number of healthy snacks/beverages determined by NEMS-V and the VENDing nutrient-density scores. Results: Researchers conducted the VENDing audit on 228 snack/beverage vending machines at 9 universities within the United States and used both VENDing and NEMS-V on 33 snack and 52 beverage vending machines. Mean VENDing audit scores were 4.5 ± 2.0 (2.6, 3.4) and 2.6 ± 2.0 (0, 12) for snack/beverage machines, respectively. The number of products considered healthy assessed with both the VENDing nutrient-density scores and the NEMS-V were positively correlated for beverages (r = 0.687, p < 0.001) and snacks (r = 0.366, p < 0.05). The sensitivity was excellent for beverages (0.83) and moderate for snacks (0.69); while the specificity was moderate for both beverages (0.66) and snacks (0.50). Conclusions: The VENDing audit uses unique, valid, and reliable nutrient-density scoring to evaluate snacks/beverages along a continuum of healthful criteria and comprehensively evaluates the full vending environment.
  • Authors

  • Horacek, Tanya M
  • Yildirim, Elif Dede
  • Matthews Schreiber, Melissa
  • Byrd-Bredbenner, Carol
  • Colby, Sarah
  • White, Adrienne A
  • Shelnutt, Karla P
  • Olfert, Melissa D
  • Mathews, Anne E
  • Riggsbee, Kristin
  • Franzen-Castle, Lisa
  • Morrell, Jesse
  • Kattelmann, Kendra
  • Publication Date

  • February 12, 2019
  • Has Subject Area


  • beverages
  • food environment
  • nutrient-density score
  • snacks
  • vending machines
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 514
  • End Page

  • 514
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 3