YMCA removes all junk food from vending machines

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The Hastings YMCA is working to reduce the obesity rate in Adams County by removing all junk food from their vending machines.

The Hastings YMCA is working to reduce the obesity rate in Adams County by removing all junk food from their vending machines. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)

You can no longer buy sugary drinks or salty chips when you're at the Y. Now, you're only options are healthy snacks and drinks like water, Gatorade, Muscle Milk, peanuts, baked chips and granola bars.

"As a health organization trying to improve the community, and the health and wellbeing of our residents, we just felt like enough was enough," said Troy Stickels, CEO of the Hastings YMCA. "We needed to completely change it all out and only offer healthy items."

People in the area are currently four to five percent more obese than people in surrounding areas. Stickels said he hopes this effort will be one small way to decrease that number.

The Y started working on this project with the South Heartland District Health Department several years ago by slowly removing all unhealthy food from the vending machines. They took it all out in January.

Stickels said they'll also only offer healthy foods and drinks at their events from now on.