Banning Junk Food And Sodas In Schools
Banning of junk foods and sodas in school has been contentious given the benefits and setbacks it has in the economic, social and nutritional aspects. The foods are generally characterized by a low nutritional value and their abundance of salt, sugar and calories. The emphasis on their use in educational institutions is mainly due to the high level of consumption given the large populations in them, and the early exposure to health conditions that are proven to result from junk foods and sodas.
One of the reasons why junk foods and sodas should be banned is because they facilitate health conditions such as obesity, which is a predisposing factor to heart diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure. 20% of adult Americans are obese, and about 300,000 people die annually from complications related with being overweight.
Once young people are encouraged to adopt health foods, future generations will have the culture of eating nutritious foods. It is evident that promoting and selling junk foods and sodas endorse their usage among students. Students spend most of their daytime in schools, an institution that is entrusted with the laying of firm foundations across various aspects, including healthy habits. Consequently, the converse promotion of healthy foods will be quickly embraced by students and hence a healthier society.
However, banning of junk foods and sodas is faced by some issues, the first being the actual definition of junk foods. It is inefficient to just state kinds of junk foods. Contrary, junk foods should be defined from the ingredients since some foods like pizzas can be considerably be either junk or nutritious.
The education system in America is designed to provide for communities control over schools. The control is rooted in democracy. School board members are bestowed with the responsibilities to develop policies that reflect the needs and opinions of the society. As such, the decision on what to be availed to students is determined by the board members, making the decision inapplicably determinable at national levels.
Banning of junk foods and sodas is further limited by the approach in its implementation. The ban includes removing the option for the foods instead of educating on making appropriate healthy choices. Therefore, teaching about nutrition could be a better way of approaching consequences of the use of junk foods and sodas. It is conclusive that the despite the effects of junk foods and sodas being profoundly adverse, banning them in schools may not be an adequate measure of counteracting their use.
Hire a professional essay writer online - Z Essay - expert paper writing service for college students.
In April 2014, the Department of Agriculture banned junk food sales at schools in the United States. In particular, the ban limits school cafeteria and vending machine from offering or selling students of foods that are high in fats, sugar, and calories or “junk food”. Junk food according to USDA is responsible for making millions of schoolchildren obese, a condition that is associated with a number of health problems. Good examples of junk foods are soda, cheesecakes, hotdogs, candies, potato chips, and any food that has little or no nutritional value.
Study of obesity suggests that overweight and obese people are at risk of diabetes, coronary heart disease, a certain type of cancer, and tend to have a shorter life. Children with weight equal or greater than the 95th percentile are obese and likely to acquire a long-term chronic disease and psychosocial development problems. Poor food choices and consumption of junk food, a widely available, inexpensive, and effectively promoted on television and other media often cause obesity.
Obesity, according to study is a disease linked to children’s poor nutrition and significant time spent on watching television. Junk food, on the other hand, is linked to weight gain and insulin resistance and therefore increased the risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
School Policy on Junk Food
Evidently, there was no national policy regarding junk food in the United States before 2014 and therefore no reason for schools to create an internal policy on this matter. In fact, according to 2006 survey, only 25% of schools had a school policy regarding junk food while a quarter of schools are developing #JunkFoodKids by allowing promotion and consumption of chocolate candy, cookies, pastries, baked goods, and soft drinks in schools. Some schools earned from vending machines that are so popular for their junk food content while others sell junk foods to the community so they can raise money.
Schools with the junk food policy are commonly against vending machines and selling foods with little or no nutritional value. They raised funds from selling vegetables and fruits. The national policy restricting the sale of junk food at schools is a challenge to the majority of schools to create policies that could make a difference such as a junk-free school environment. Their role as educators should include teaching students on appropriate health choices, provide knowledge and encourage students on the benefits of nutritious food and exercise.
You may be interested in:
Remembering Our First Stage of Education
Women's Right to Education
Teachers and school staff are role models and therefore must be at the forefront of the junk food free school campus initiative. Operators of school cafeterias and vending machines should start thinking about students’ well-being rather than sales and profit. Teachers should be familiar with how junk food is marketed to kids, recognize junk food from tables, and the difference between subtle and not so subtle junk food. Similarly, school officials may consider a wellness policy that includes more innovative fundraising strategies, fairs, field trips, and athletic competitions. More importantly, they should not fall for advertising money and firmly reject the promotion of junk foods in their respective schools.