So while the industry may be quieting opposition because beverage companies have diversified their product and will be able to stock vending machines regardless of the beverage restrictions imposed, other groups may sit out this fight for different reasons.
I’d venture that most people would agree that if you present a 10 year-old with the option of eating a candy bar or an apple, they’ll eat the candy bar every single time. And while most modern American parents are acutely aware of the dangers posed by childhood obesity and many are actively trying to raise healthier children, having a vending machine chock full of fudge dipped brownies placed directly in front of their children every day undermines parents' ability to effectively make their children’s choices for them. And when children get their candy fix from a school-sanctioned vending machine instead of from some trench-coated 10 year-old sugar peddler on the playground, the school board that allows those vending machines in its school becomes complicit in undermining parents who are actively trying to encourage healthy eating habits in their children.
And this is what differentiates selling candy and chips and soda to children from serving them meat. While eating meat everyday won’t have a necessarily negative effect on children and their health, eating candy all day will. Kids are not typically given the “freedom to choose” anything because they’re children and they don’t have the fully-developed frontal lobes required to moderate risk-taking behavior. Limiting children’s options is no new endeavor. What we’re really trying to figure out is not whether kids have the freedom of choice, but rather by what means adults should go about restricting the options available to them.