Form: Argumentative essay Audience: Young students and teenagers Tone: Informative Purpose: To raise awareness that junk food in school has many negative side effects Central Idea: Junk foods found in cafeterias and vending machines of elementary and high schools must be abolished because of their negative effects on the children’s academics, the unhealthy eating patterns it creates, and the increasing risk of health diseases, harming the future generations. The Junk Yard School is defined as an institution for educating children.
So should it not be teaching students about adopting healthy eating habits and lifestyle? Society is constantly surrounded by dozens of fast food restaurants, and tempted by junk food sold in convenience stores, supermarkets, and vending machines. Sure, these low price meals are made to excite our taste buds, but are they truly stimulating our health? To top it all, children are being exposed to non-nutritional goods sold in their school environment; it should most of all be a place where only healthy food choices are being reinforced and made available.
Therefore, junk foods found in cafeterias and vending machines of elementary and high schools must be abolished because of their negative effects on the children’s academics, the unhealthy eating patterns it creates, and the increasing risk of health diseases, harming the future generations. Firstly, the human body runs on fuel in the form of food, and if the fuel put into these systems is not high-quality, we should not expect it to perform at their best. The academic success of students in their classes have become weaker and weaker due to the unhealthy foods and drinks being sold at school. More than three quarters of junior and senior high school teenagers make use of the vending machines on a regular basis”. Not only are these fatty products lacking nutritional value, but they are setting kids up to fail in their studies. A University of Michigan study of middle school children published in the July issue of “Pediatrics” found that “the kids who didn’t get the proper daily nutrition requirements had significantly lower math, memory, vocabulary and visual skills scores and were more likely to repeat a grade than students who fueled up with ealthy meals”. When it comes time to learning, students must set their minds to their studies and focus in order to obtain good grades. Research shows that “eating poorly can diminish children’s concentration and can prevent the brain from processing the correct information”. Parents generally want to see their children striving in their academics; not failing because of the lack of nutrients the schools provides them with. Good grades last longer than the taste of unhealthy treats!
Secondly, students are in school up to thirty-five hours a week, and being surrounded by several non-nutritional foods constantly can increase an individuals poor eating habits tremendously. This was shown when Philadelphia reporters followed thousands of children across the U. S from kindergarten to eighth grade from 1998 to 2007. They discovered that “79% of students obtained their lunches and snacks from the school cafeterias and vending machines”. Also, “85% of those students had increased their junk food intake in school by 48% due to cafeteria services and the use of snack machines”.
According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture, “school lunches feature processed and refined foods, which contain unhealthy amounts of sugar, fats and an excessive amount of calories. Nine out of every ten school lunch programs do not meet the nutritional standards set by the U. S. government. Students who consume lunches provided by the school tend to eat more high-fat meals, drink sugary beverages and devour fewer fruits and vegetables than the students who bring their own lunches”.
These bad eating habits are still occurring in schools today and nothing is being done about it, which therefore is harming more than half the student population. Finally, over the years, the risk of health diseases in children and teenagers has significantly augmented because of the un-nutritional goods these individuals are consuming during school hours. Not only are these institutions destroying the health of these young bodies, but also, the foods they are providing are increasing the students’ risks of health illness in the nearby future.
Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, stroke, osteoporosis, and many cancers are some of the consequences unhealthy eating can lead towards, and since students are continuously exposed to these types of junk foods in school, these illnesses are highly emerging in kids at a very young age. “Today’s teenagers are almost three times as likely to be overweight than they were 20 years ago”. Obesity rates among children and adolescents are growing, causing serious health problems for many. “Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are all diagnosed earlier and earlier”.
School lunches, beverage and snack machines are thought to play a role in the rising rates of obesity. According to a study conducted by the American College of Cardiology, “children who participated in the National School Lunch Program were more likely to become obese than children who brought their lunches from home”. Not only is this harming the consumers of these poor quality foods, but it can affect the future generations. Inheriting these horrible eating habits from family members can lead to even more severe health issues. More than 70% obese adolescents retain their overweight and obese condition even during their adulthood”. Junk foods found in cafeterias and vending machines of elementary and high schools must be abolished because of their negative effects on the children’s academics, the unhealthy eating patterns it creates, and the increasing risk of health diseases, harming the future generations. It has become embarrassing to see schools, who are supposed to educate children on making the right decisions, give out these fatty products.
School is meant to be a safe and friendly environment, but how is this possible when the foods served in the cafeterias and machines are harming the students’ health, grades, and futures? The only way this problem can be resolved is by eliminating all unhealthy meals provided in the building. If these measures would take action, there would be a great decrease in youth health diseases, the test results of students would rise as well as the health of the upcoming generations.