Overweight and obesity are increasing in epidemic proportions and are afflicting not only adults, but youth as well. Eating is one behavior that is greatly influenced by the workplace. Work is where many people spend the majority of their waking hours.
Foods in cafeterias, vending machines, on your desk or shared by fellow employees make up your worksite’s nutrition environment. Vending machines may be the only source of food-for-sale in a work place. Employees may use vending machines not only for snacks but sometimes for a meal.
Nutrition Environment Measures Survey-Vending (NEMS-V) was developed to evaluate the worksite vending machine environment. This survey builds on the nationally recognized Nutrition Environment Measurement Survey (NEMS) tools from University of Pennsylvania, that measure the availability of healthy food and beverage choices in the grocery store, convenience store or restaurant.
Nutrition standards for the NEMS-V were originally based on Institute of Medicine (IOM) Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools. Some standards were modified to support the Iowa Healthy Kids Act passed in 2008. Other modifications were made for consumers older than 18. Currently, criteria is being updated to match Health and Sustainability Guidelines (HHS) for Federal Concessions and Vending Operation (2012). The HHS criteria is for consumers older than 18. For information on vending for children, please see USDA's Nutrition Guidelines for All Foods Sold in Schools.