UB and Independent Health Foundation pair to create video that pranks students into selecting healthy snacks from vending machine


Students stopping for a snack at UB’s vending machine in Knox Lecture Hall on Wednesday were unexpectedly greeted by a voice with some pretty high health standards.

Students trying to make snack selections unknowingly became part of the Independent Health Foundation’s (IHF) initiative to spark UB students to start thinking about making healthy choices while snacking or dining on campus.

“I’m going to need twenty good jumping jacks,” the voice of a local comedian emitted from the vending machine to one of 40 different students who bought a snack.

This talking vending machine video surprised college students when the “machine” asked them to exercise their snacks off right then. UB and IHF worked with the local marketing firm Gelia to make a student reaction video to a ‘talking vending machine,’ voiced by a local comedian in a back room in Knox Lecture Hall with a microphone.

“We realized a lot of college students are eating from vending machines on a regular basis, so we came up with a fun and unique concept to spread the message across WNY,” said Carrie Meyer, executive director of IHF.

The video has already reached 20,000 views and Meyer is hoping the message keeps spreading.

“We just want people to start thinking about healthy options if they’re cooking at home, dining out, or stopping at a vending machine, that they choose a better option.”

“Students were like, ‘What is going on?’ But so many students would start to choose healthier options, so a lot of people were really thinking about it,” Meyer said.

IHF’s first video, Work Off Your Snack, launched on Youtube yesterday, but because the IHF had such a good student response, Meyer said they were able to create two other videos, to be launched soon: Read the Ingredients, and Make a Promise to Eat Healthier.

To help identify healthy snacks, the IHF’s website provides some tips on making those healthier choices.

Katie Coleman is an assistant news editor and can be reached news@ubspectrum.com