Should the sale of junk food in school cafeterias be banned? In more traditional years, parents had to prepare packed lunch for their kids when going to school. However, in present times, most parents are already incapTABLE of doing such things. This is because they lack the luxury of time with the hectic schedules that they have. Parents tend to just give money to their children to purchase what they need. Given this kind of situation, students are exposed to a variety of options and they are given the freedom to pick whatever they want.
In terms of what they eat, students are tempted o choose the ones which happen to be unhealthy and low in essential nutrients like junk foods. For better or for worse, junk food has gone global; it is now availTABLE all over the world (Magee, 2007, para. 1). Schools must protect the freedom that the students have in choosing what they want to consume. Without any doubt, I firmly believe that the sale of junk foods in school cafeterias should be banned for several reasons. Foremost among my reasons is that junk food triggers obesity in kids and teens (Masand, 2011). Children nowadays are highly susceptible of becoming obese.
Even at a very young age, they are at risk of putting their life in danger. High blood pressure, heart problems, breathing problems and even type 2 diabetes are just some of the risk associated with obesity. Aside from these risks, obese children are most likely to experience emotional and psychological turmoil. Furthermore, children who are overweight are more stressed compared to children with normal weight. This is because they feel insecure and unhappy for being teased and criticized. They are even subject to disapproval from discussions of family, friends and remarks from other people.
Some people may object to this argument claiming that junk food dissociates with the rates of childhood obesity. A new study has found that kids who attend schools where junk foods are highly availTABLE do not gain more weight compared to those kids who attended schools where a particular type of food is not availTABLE. Jennifer Van Hook, a Professor of Sociology and Demography at Pennsylvania State University and lead author of the study, said that kids do not spend much time to eat at school (Goodwin, 201 2, Para. 2). This suggests that targeting schools is just an ineffective strategy.
Well, granting hat students still spend a small fraction of their time in schools is already a great opportunity to make a difference. Five years ago, a study was conducted which restricts school cafeterias in California from selling junk foods. As a result, a newly published report shows that California high school students consume on average nearly 160 calories fewer compared to their peers in other states (O’Connor, 2012). Cutting this amount of calories a day is significant enough; children and adolescents are protected from continuously gaining weight.
Moreover, not only in schools should action be done since besity is a very complex problem which requires targeting the different aspects of a students environment. Another reason why I do not favor the sale of junk foods in school cafeterias is that junk foods affect the behavior of students. Many types of junk food contain preservatives particularly sodium benzoate. A number of researchers have found that this preservative has a definite link to increased hyperactivity in people who consume products that contains it (Martin, 2011 , para. 2).
In addition, junk foods have added artificial coloring which has a bad effect on the mental well-being and behavior of tudents (Stevens, Kuczek, Burgess, Hurt, ; Arnold, 2010). Junk foods are also high in sugar. This causes the blood glucose levels to rise and can trigger the release of adrenaline of both adults and children (Martin, 2011, Para. 4). This obviously tells us that junk foods greatly affect people negatively. On the other hand, some may argue that students may attempt to smuggle junk foods if it is completely banned in school cafeterias.
If this happens, the behavioral problem of the students aggravates. Even though schools may be TABLE to force the students to abide by the rules when they are inside the chool, they still do not have full control over the students. Schools cannot stop the children from buying junk foods as soon as they step out from the school. In fact, “It is difficult to regulate junk food consumption through unsophisticated measures such as prohibition” (“House ban,” 2012). Although children may attempt to smuggle junk foods in school, believe that this is just a problem of practicalities.
In one survey, all 1 , 700 students were bounded to follow strict rules stating that no chips, fatty foods, sweets and fizzy drinks can be sold at school. Yet there was a neighboring fast food shop hat allowed the students to access such foods. Parents and teachers fear that it would put a risk on the school’s healthy eating policy. Asa result, resident Edward Copeland brought the case to the high court, where the court decided that the junk food shops should be closed during school hours to support the strict rules of the school (Borland, 2010).
This implies that such loophole can be fixed if the school really wants to be part of the discipline formation of the students. Finally, schools should practice what they preach. Schools are not just a place for knowledge transfer but also for application. Kickbusch (2009) points out that “Students are easily influenced by authority figures, and educators do not realize that, in some cases, their influence can negatively affect a student”. Schools have to be very careful in sending the message to their students because these young innocent minds have the tendency to believe that everything they learn in school is correct and moral.
With this kind of thinking among students, schools should take this as an advantage instead of being swayed by its negative effects. Why would they offer junk foods in school if they are teaching the students to avoid eating unhealthy foods? On this argument, some may argue that schools just need to teach the students how to make healthier choices rather than forcing them to stop eating junk foods. Education is the heart and soul of the schools. They emphasize on what thoughts the people should value like democracy and freedom of choice.
With the total ban of junk foods in school cafeterias, the concept of education is pointless. What the schools need to do is to focus on how they can relay the importance of a healthy lifestyle to their students. Furthermore, schools should not eradicate the freedom that the students ave; they just need to educate them on the significance of making the right choices. While it is true that the primary purpose of the schools is education, this does not mean that they do not have the responsibility to mold the students in becoming better citizens of the country.