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The effects of unhealthy school lunches
For hundreds of years schools all around the world have been serving children hot lunches. The schools also provide students access to vending and pop machines. To most students, school lunches do not seem appealing to them which then leads students to the vending machines. Throughout schools across the world, lunches have been seen as unhealthy. Although schools are doing their best to provide healthy meals to students, some may argue that necessary changes are in order to reduce the issues that unhealthy lunches cause.
According to Healthy School Lunches the National School Lunch Program, which is none other than a food plan that is provided to students, “has served more than 219 billion lunches since the program’s initiation in 1946.” According to a featured article the NSPL states that “standards require that 1 /3 of the Recommended Daily Allowances of vitamins and nutrients are met at each meal, but it does not ensure healthy eating habits (Sustainable table).” Whether or not the schools actually serve this is quite unknown, but students would most likely not eat the healthy nutritious lunches knowing that they have more options to replace it with.
It seems that today’s generation of students are not interested in school lunches anymore, but more drawn to the vending machines, ala carte and fast food options provided. According to sustainable table “with the demise of fresh, balanced meals prepared on campus has come the rise of junk food as a main course.” As some may see, schools are now bringing in vending machines that carry chips, candy bars, pop, and many more other sweet and sugary food. Not only are they providing the sweet and sugary foods, but also providing the greasy and cheesy foods. The ala carte foods are more than just your average school lunches. They resemble a food court that you would see in your local shopping mall. For instance, schools are serving students pizza that is loaded with cheese, the cheesy nachos, the cheesy breadsticks, the ice cream, and cookies. All this unhealthy food is more appealing to students than the average lunch one used to get. The last option is fast food being served at schools. According to sustainable table “some schools have fast-food delivered to their cafeterias on certain day of the week, or even created fast food franchises right on campus.” Although schools are trying to serve the students healthy lunches, the students are not buying into it and are trading in the school lunches for the ala carte and fast food lunches.
According to Healthy School Lunches “America’s children are increasingly afflicted with adult diseases, including obesity; type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension (Healthy School Lunches).” The major problem that is occurring in schools is childhood obesity. It may seem that students are drawn to food that they have been accustomed to. According to Healthy lunches key to school success “eating habits are learned behavior; they’re not intuitive, so what your children learn to eat at home early in life sticks with them well into adulthood.” With schools providing students with access to vending machines, ala carte, and fast food lunches, it is leading children to the greasy and unhealthy lunches that are contributing to students being overweight. According to Sustainable Table “15% of children and teenagers ages 6-19 are overweight. Schools that are providing children with this junk food are contributing to their obesity. Furthermore although school lunches are both healthy and unhealthy, changes are being made to help provide students with the nutritious meals instead.
Schools are not only trying to make lunches healthier but also make them tastier. According to Healthy lunches the key to school success states that Chef Anne Cooper and CLIF Bar “have started the All American Lunchbox Makeover.” It is said according to Healthy lunches key to school success “that it is a healthy alternative to the popular dried fruit peels, juice boxes and cereal bars.” In addition to the All American Lunchbox Makeover “in order to combat obesity and the prevalence of unhealthy food in schools, Stoyfield Farm is installing vending machines that have granola bars, soy nuts, drinkable yogurt and other healthier snack (Sustainable Table).” In addition to the Lunchbox makeover and healthier vend machines there is something called the Healthy School Act. According to Healthy School Lunches “this will improve children’s eating patterns by encouraging the inclusions of healthful plant-based options in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program.” For example “instead of having cheese burgers schools may replace it with veggie burgers, and also replace milk with non dairy milk” according to Healthy School Lunches. With this act in place schools all over can now enjoy a healthier lunch this is still tasty.
There are some other changes like low-fat produce, and sustainable snack lunches to go along with the other changes. Another change that is recommended by the Healthy School Lunches is that “meals should include a variety of low-fat veggie dishes and fresh or dried fruit.” Another thing that is typically for parents to do is “make healthier snack lunches, or bring sustainable food to your school.” With these changes schools may have a chance in taking out the unhealthy lunches.
School is a place for children of all ages to learn and socialize with their peers. Although schools are trying their best to provide students with a healthy lunch, there are still some changes that need to be done. Students may think that schools are taking away their unhealthy food just to be mean, but really they are not. Schools want children to be healthy and with healthy lunches that could happen. Healthy lunches are not a bad thing. With healthy lunches student will be more focused. The healthy lunches will help students make it through the long school days as well as give the students energy to stay active. According to Healthy lunches the key to school success is that “implementing healthy eating habits does not have to be a daunting task, but the key is to know how to make food appealing to kids.”
Bihm, Jennifer. “Healthy Lunches the key to school success.” New York Amsterdam News
98.37 (2007):39. Print.
“Back-to-School.” Sustainable Table serving up healthy food choices. Pg 1-6. Web.
“Legislative Issues.” Healthy School Lunches. Pg 1-2. Web.
“National School Lunch Program Background.” Healthy School Lunches. Pg 1-2. Web.
“Recommended Changes.” Healthy School Lunches. Pg 1-2. Web.
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