Tired, crabby, or unfocused in class? It could be the food you are eating. The lack of healthy school lunch selections has recently become a problem in almost every elementary, middle and high school across the nation. There are many good reasons to remove junk food from school lunch menus, and creating a healthier student body is number one. Junk foods should be taken out of school lunch menus because they affect your body and mind in negative ways. Junk food is a major cause of childhood obesity.
Writer Bob notes that today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963 (Bob, 1). The bad food offered in public schools contributes to this unacceptable problem. A single 12-ounce can of soda has as much as 13 teaspoons of sugar in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. Many of these sodas are available to kids in school at low prices as well as many other completely unhealthy foods like chips and cookies Due to the lack of fresh and flavorful food, many students will choose to buy the cheap junk food offered instead.
If we could stock vending machines and cafeterias with healthier foods, it would definitely make a dent in the childhood obesity rate. Another reason cafeterias should start serving healthier food is that junk food does not give kids the energy needed to stay focused in school or the power to participate in sports. “The cafeteria must offer produce, dairy, protein and grain, but three groups constitute a full meal, so many students leave behind the fruits and vegetables” (Martinez, 1).
Lunch is right in the middle of the day, if you eat fatty or sugary foods, it could cause you to get tired and not pay attention in your afternoon classes. In addition, junk food caps your energy, which affects your physical activity. You cannot perform your best if you don’t have any energy. Children should be eating more healthy, natural foods. Many people may argue that banning junk food in schools is not a good idea. Students say that junk food just tastes better than healthy food and they prefer it. There is no rule that says healthy food can’t taste good!
Many junk foods can be replaced by similar tasting, healthier substitutes. Instead of fried chips, provide baked. Instead of soda, offer carbonated fruit juice. If substituting all of the unhealthy foods does not work, what about reducing the amount that we serve? Have a healthy main portion for lunch and a small dessert; sweets are not bad as long as they are consumed in moderation. “However, serving them rather than simply offering them increases the chances that children will actually eat them, according to the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity” (Martinez, 1).
There are multiple ways to solve the problem of people’s taste buds craving tasty foods. We just have to enforce this change. Providing junk food in school cafeterias is just an all-around bad idea. We need to eat healthy food so we can reach our fullest academic and physical potential. The food we eat affects our body and mind and we need to take advantage of that! Now that we understand the problem, it’s time to fix it by banning the sale of junk food in schools.