Denver Entrepreneur Fights Colorado Obesity Crisis With Healthy Vending Machines

Denver-based social entrepreneur, Scott Stern, is determined to tackle Colorado’s growing childhood obesity problem head on by partnering with HUMAN Healthy Ven

Online PR News – 11-October-2011 – Denver, CO – In 2010, Colorado lost its ranking as the only state with an obesity rate lower than 20 percent. Now, it’s home to an even more alarming rate: one of the fastest growing rates of childhood obesity across the nation – second only to Nevada. As it stands, one in every four children is either overweight or obese. With the nation’s overall growing rates of overweight and obese adults and children, it is clear that there is a disconnect between what we know to be part of the solution – access to healthful foods – and what is actually widely available (standard vending machines supplying junk food).

As a father of three children, Denver-based social entrepreneur Scott Stern is determined to tackle this problem. Doing business as Pepstern Natural Brands LLC, Stern has partnered with HUMAN Healthy Vending to ensure that residents in his community have convenient access to foods and drinks that meet a high caliber of nutrition standards, including those of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Motivating Stern’s resolve are his children. “As a father, I often attend sporting events and activities with my kids and I’ll see children eating junk food and my kids will want it, too. Sure, a kid can have a treat every now and then, but it’s a problem when the more widely available option is junk food.”

Unlike antiquated vending machines that have long been complicit in encouraging unhealthful eating habits, HUMAN’s vending machines are the first full-service vending solution offering healthful snacks, drinks and entire meals along with health education streamed digitally via HD LCD screens attached to the machines. The LCD screens can educate consumers on the products in the machine as well as give general nutrition advice, such as how to read a nutrition label.

Locations that partner with Pepstern Natural Brands LLC will join a successful network of more than 750 locations across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico that currently feature HUMAN vending machines. Already, The Cherry Creek School District, Littleton School District, Mapleton School District, Exempla Lutheran Medical Center and Miller International have signed with Pepstern Natural Brands LLC and HUMAN to offer healthful foods and drinks to their patrons and students. HUMAN machines are currently operational at all school locations and at Miller International; Exempla Lutheran Medical will launch its machines at the end of this year. Marcus McDavid, activities director at Cherry Creek High School, believes HUMAN’s vending machines complement the school’s efforts to be more health-conscious. “Our students have really embraced these healthy options since the school year started,” said McDavid. “We’re proud to be part of this important new direction.”

Pepstern Natural Brands carries many of the same healthful food brands that can be found in local health stores, Sprouts Farmers Market, Sunflower Farmers Market and Whole Foods Markets. “We’re passionate about providing healthful, nutritious food for kids of all ages and we’ve been thrilled by the enthusiastic response in the Denver area,” said Stern. “We know that children and adults alike will be happy to find their favorite healthful food brands in our machines.”

Pepstern Natural Brands LLC will be holding sampling events in the upcoming weeks. If you are interested in attending, or in seeing a HUMAN Healthy Vending machine in operation, please contact Annabel at the contact information listed above.

If you are interested in learning more about HUMAN, or bringing healthy vending to your location at no cost to you, please visit

Why is “healthful-food-vending” so important?

• Although Colorado was ranked with the second lowest child overweight or obesity rate in the nation in 2003, by 2007 Colorado ranked 10th (via “Kids Count Colorado!” an annual publication of the Colorado Children’s Campaign, 2011)
• According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, Colorado’s rate of childhood obesity has increased second fastest in the nation, behind Nevada. Colorado’s rate rose from 22 percent in 2003 to 27 percent in 2007 (via “Kids Count Colorado!” an annual publication of the Colorado Children’s Campaign, 2011)
• More than 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in low-income urban and rural neighborhoods that are more than one mile from the nearest supermarket (via Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” website)
• Childhood obesity rates have tripled since 1980 (via “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011,” a report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
• More than two-thirds of adults in America — 190 million people — are currently overweight or obese (via “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011,” a report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
• One third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma (via Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” website)

About HUMAN Healthy Vending

It is the goal of HUMAN (Helping Unite Mankind and Nutrition) to make universal access to healthy food and health education a reality. HUMAN distributes hi-tech and eco-friendly vending machines that sell 100% healthy foods and drinks. In addition to providing healthy food options, the machines provide health education via high-definition LCD screens that display streaming videos and other content. By making healthy products and healthy-living information accessible in schools, hospitals, gyms, community centers and additional public spaces, HUMAN empowers people to make healthy choices.


HUMAN is proud to donate 10% of its proceeds to charitable causes that fight childhood obesity and malnutrition.

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