(July 24) Not only do people love out of convenience and availability, they eat for those same reasons.

In college psychology classes, some of us learned the three most important factors increasing the odds that two people would fall in love are 1) proximity; 2) proximity; and 3) proximity.

The same goes for fresh produce. If the industry wants children to “fall in love” with fruits and vegetables, why not pursue as many methods of putting produce as near to children as possible?

That’s why the expanded effort to increase the number of fresh produce vending machines in U.S. schools makes so much sense.

The fact that the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, and Dole Food Co. Inc. are collaborating on the expansion of this pilot program is a step in the right direction for diminishing childhood obesity. It is also something The Packer and the produce industry can applaud.

With the childhood obesity rate tripling in recent years, by some estimates, it appears improbable that the foundation will ebb the tide of childhood obesity by 2010 as it aims to do.

However, a federally backed program to supplement the efforts already being made privately will, without a doubt, make a serious impact.