Junk Food Lurking In Schools: Can It Be Stopped? Essay
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When you send your children off to school, you might worry about bullying or about their academic performance, but you generally don’t consider their lunch-time meal to be a potential problem. Now imagine, for a moment, your son or daughter is given the option between a juicy cheeseburger with greasy French fries and a healthier chicken salad. It’s a no-brainer what choice they will make. Now, stop imagining because you don’t have to. Instances like this are a reality everyday in many school cafeterias. In 2005, John Esterbrook, a writer for CBS News, reported on a government survey showing that junk foods are in competition with healthy counterparts in nine out of ten schools (par. 1). Today, although four years later, little…show more content…
Considering that “the obesity rates for adolescents have tripled” in the past 40 years, according to an editorial in The New York Times, something needs to be done (“Selling” par. 7). Sadly, obesity is not alone in the slew of effects from junk foods in schools. With the rising awareness of these problems, multiple studies have been completed that reveal shocking statistics. For example, a study done by Vanderbilt University in Tennessee discloses the not-so-surprising reality that students eating diets heavy in fast foods had scores that “dropped by up to 16 percent compared to the average [score]” (Paton par. 3). This research shows that there is a direct correlation between healthy diets and classroom performance. Because classroom performance is connected to what kids are eating, solving the junk food problem also will benefit many students’ classroom performance.
Our understanding of food has undergone many changes, but regulations governing what foods students eat have not. Many of the currently regulations that dictate what and how foods are prepared and served in schools were created in past years, sometimes up to ten years ago. Jennifer Kelleher, writing for Newsday, notes that the USDA has yet to update their school food standards “since the mid-1990s” (par. 7). With the rapid change in understanding of what makes something “healthy,” it is obvious that these regulations need to be updated to ensure that all children are provided with truly
Junk food is defined as food items which are generally considered to be unhealthy and have low nutritional value. However, many children and teenagers enjoy consuming junk food because it tastes good. Nevertheless, junk food is commonly outed as one of the main causes of obesity in young people. Some school canteens sell junk food among other things to students. As such, it is believed that the sale of junk food in school canteens is banned in order to improve student’s behavior, reduce litter in schools and it is indeed the school’s responsibility to take care of students’ health.
Firstly, the sale of junk food in school canteens should be banned in order to improve students’ behavior. Smith (2005) asserted that many additives are present in junk food which causes behavioural problems in children, such as poor concentration and hyperactivity. Besides, responses from The Food Show (2005) affirm that reducing unhealthy foods intake among children can improve their behavior. The responses on the show also indicate that junk foods are often packed with chemical additives which can trigger behavioural problems. This is further testified by a school which removed junk food and soft drinks from their school canteen. It was found that the students became calmer in class after lunch (The Food Show 2005). Therefore, students’ behavior can be improved by banning the sale of junk food in school canteens.
Read more: Sample Thesis About School Canteen
Another reason why the sale of junk food in school canteens should be banned is to reduce litter. Most junk food is wrapped in plastic packaging which needs to be disposed of afterwards. Unfortunately, many irresponsible students discard junk food packaging in various places instead of waste bins (Lin Tran 2005; Smith 2005). According to Smith (2005), litter is a hazard to safety and health, increases costs and is bad for community’s image. Schools which have reduced the sale of junk food in their canteens have witnessed a reduce in the litter produced (Smith 2005). When schools’ litter problems are reduced, school groundsmen have more time to spend on maintenance projects which benefit their schools instead of picking up litter (The Food Show 2005). Hence, the sale of junk food in school canteens
should be banned in order to reduce litter.
The next reason ban the sale of junk food in school canteens is that schools have the responsibility to take care of their students’ health. According to Lin Tran (2005), the nutritional value of food eaten by Australian children has been continuously dropping over the past three decades. Therefore, schools should educate young people about good nutrition and promote good eating habits through healthy food policies (The Food Show 2005). Healthy foods in the canteen can reinforce the messages that students receive in the classroom about good nutrition. Also, soft drinks should not be sold in school canteens because the dental health of Australia’s primary school children is declining (Lin Tran 2005). Indeed, Health Foundation (2005) pointed out that many of the popular snack foods including biscuits, chips and hamburgers have low nutritional value. This further reinforces the reason for school canteens to stop selling junk food.
In conclusion, the sale of junk food in school canteens should be banned in order to improve student’s behavior, reduce litter in schools and it is indeed the school’s responsibility to take care of students’ health. Once students discover healthy and delicious alternatives to junk food in school canteens, their desire for it will gradually wane.