Should the Sale of Junk Food Be Banned in Schools?

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Should the Sale of Junk Food be Banned in Schools?

The argument as to whether or not schools should be able to sell junk food is a highly controversial topic. Sugar-filled snacks, sugary drinks, and snacks high in saturated fat are a favorite among children. In most cases, when faced with the decision, a child will no doubt choose a bag of chips over an apple. What would a change in the availability of these snacks teach children? Some argue that removing these snacks from schools takes away parental rights, but a parent should want what is best for their child. Although the selling of unhealthy foods serves as a source for additional revenue for schools, school administrators should ban the sale of items that promote an unhealthy lifestyle. Not only does junk food cause unhealthy eating habits that lead to child hood obesity, but it also contributes to health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and various forms of cancer. Undeniably the adding of vending machines in order to sell soda and junk food in our schools would generate more funding for our schools, but at what price? Children’s obesity rates are higher than they ever been. “The American Obesity Association estimates that 15 percent of children between six and nineteen suffer from obesity (Lee and Sprague 2). These numbers are only going to increase with the help of snacks in schools. A 2002 study showed that ¾ of schools were using vending machines and 98% of vending machines consist of junk food (Lee 2). A solution to the problem would be placing healthier choices inside vending machines such as nuts, dried fruit, and yogurt. This way everyone wins. The schools will still raise necessary funds and the students will learn good eating habits. Another way of helping the students stay healthy is if schools banned all fried foods and start off with other smaller changes such as using low fat cheese on burgers and pizzas, switching from white bread to 100% wheat bread, using all natural jelly on the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and 1% milk is always a good idea (“Food Fight” 3). These are small changes that the students will benefit from. As long as you give children options, they will be happy. For example, one mother from NJ offered her very picky toddler fruits and vegetables every day on the child’s plate with every meal, but did not force the child to eat them. Every day the child shoved them away. Eventually the child began to try them without being asked. That child is now thirteen and eats a large variety of healthy fruits and vegetables. If children have healthy food around them all the time, they will most likely try it. The schools can still make money off of the healthy snacks. A Washington Township School in New Jersey utilizes a program called “Market Day” to help subsidize their budget. It is a day set aside once a month where parents of the students are able to purchase meals, sides, or even deserts. This generates money for the school without even attending. Programs like this one can be an alternative to offering our youth unhealthy snacks. The National School Lunch Program Implemented in 1946, ensures that the students are supplied with a minimum of at least one nutritious hot meal a day. Jelly-filled doughnuts and soda were not what they had in mind. These provide children with absolutely no nutritional value. Children love snacks and giving them free reign of them will only promote unhealthy eating habits. Children have been known to use their lunch money their parents give them to purchase junk food and skip buying lunch altogether. The parents have no clue this is going on and just assume their children are receiving lunch. Teenagers are likely to grab a quick snack at times when they are running late or they just want to be quick to hang out with friends. Some will grab something out of vending machines since it is cheaper. That way they can spend the leftover money on cigarettes or for alcohol for weekend parties. Some...
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