In recent decades, junk food sales in schools have long been blamed for contributing to childhood obesity as it is commonly sold in school vending machines and sometimes in school cafeteria. In light of this, there are certain schools having their own meal plans and completely banning the food selection for students to only healthy choices. The concern we have is that whether junk food sold in schools the main reason for childhood obesity. With regard to this concern, supporters of banning junk food argue that selling junk food in schools make students vulnerable to heart diseases, diabetes and a number of other chronic illnesses.
However, I think there is no point of banning junk food in schools because school setting to junk food only represents a small part of the issue, and students deserve to be able to choose what they want to eat and there are more effective ways than to merely banning junk food in schools. To begin with, junk food sold in school is not a major reason of childhood obesity.
Schools only represent a small portion of children’s food environment. It is that most of the junk food they are eating is not coming through the schools. Junk food is available elsewhere.
Children can get food at home. They can get food in their neighborhoods, and they can go across the street from the school to buy food in supermarkets. Additionally, kids are actually very busy at school and normally regulation in schools restricts students to eat or drink inside the classrooms. Thus, there really isn’t a lot of opportunity for children to eat while they are in school, or at least eat endlessly, compared to when they are at home. More importantly, children’s eating habits are mostly influenced by their parents.
What kinds of food their parents buy from supermarkets and what kinds of meal their parents made for their children will affect children’s perception of his parents’ attitude towards food. For younger students, parents are responsible for their children’s eating habit. They should be the one who decide what food their children have and how much junk food they buy for their children. In view of these, whether or not junk food is available to them at school may not have much bearing on how much junk food they eat.
The same is held true for high school students, who are more independent and have more pocket money and therefore more control over what they eat. They can afford buying junk food in convenience stores outside schools which provide junk food that are more expensive but more delicious and well-packaged. Another reason that supports my point of view is that students deserve the right to eat whatever they like. Many students, especially the younger ones, like eating junk food as it is tasty. Depriving kids of junk food makes them indulge in the unhealthy snacks even more.
When you deprive someone of something, they only crave it more. For younger students, they become curious and want the forbidden food. Then, when they indulge, they over eat in order to compensate for the previous deprivation. What is more, ingesting junk food is just like playing competitive sports. Many parents forbid their children to involve in competitive sports as they are dangerous and violent. Yet, if good sportsmanship is instilled in children, that could be an ideal way to teach children about teamwork, working hard and getting physical activity daily.
By applying the same logical deduction, it is undeniable that junk food is unhealthy. However, if children are taught how to balance that within their diet, selling junk food in school can be treated as rewarding students’ hard work in school and it is not bad for students to have junk food once in a while before or after classes. Some parents may worry that when their children are given the right to buy food and eat whatever they like in schools, their children tend to eat more junk food and this easily lead to obesity.
This is true but at the end of the day we cannot place all the blames on schools and teachers. Children must be given a choice in what to eat, and if they make the right choice, then that is great. If they are obese, then parents have to blame their children as well. Last but not least, there are more effective ways than banning junk food in schools. School has a good influence on children so they should teach students good eating habits but not just banning junk food in schools. For instance, educating students about proper nutrition can be much more useful in the long run than simply banning less healthy foods.
As mentioned above, students can learn how to consume such foods in moderation. Some may argue that schools have responsibility to actively avoid students to ingest junk food in all means. Yet, banning junk food in schools only conveys a message that “eating junk food is in all sense not appropriate and we should only eat healthy food”. However, it is fine for students to have regular junk food and, at the same time, they should also be taught how to balance that within their diet. By not teaching kids this responsibility, sooner they will have to suffer the consequences later in life.
When they leave schools, there won’t be anybody telling them not to go to McDonalds or Burger King and they need to learn making smart decisions on their own. Banning junk food in school completely cannot educate students to make good food choice but it just controls behavior. How will the children learn to choose healthy food if they are not given that option? Another alternative is to encourage students to exercise more. Children and adolescents have become less active and in turn putting them more at risk of gaining weight. Nowadays, students are paying more attention on their exams as society becomes more competitive.
For example, over half of the Hong Kong students attend tutorial classes after schools and the condition is more obvious for students who are going to take the public exam in the coming year. There is not enough time for them to do exercises. Also, food is around us. It’s easier to pick on food because it is something visible and tangible. Thus, students should be given more physical training in school. Overall, I believe that junk food should not be banned from the school systems. Schools are not the major reason of childhood obesity as parents have an important influence on their children’s eating habits.
Student should have freedom of choice of what they want to eat. They should not be told or pushed towards what they should be eating. At the same time, schools should teach students how to make healthier choice. Junk food is not bad for students and it is a quick snack to grab before or after classes. If students are sheltered from snacks and junk food at schools then they will be more prone to find ways to eat junk food at home or other places. Junk food should be allowed in school systems for all these important reasons.
Cite this Does Junk Food Matters?
Does Junk Food Matters?. (2016, Oct 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/does-junk-food-matters/