Obesity is a rising concern in society today. The number of obese or overweight children has received more attention as the number has doubled in the last three decades (Hotakainen). As children are becoming more susceptible to life-threatening diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, society has continued to grow concerned (Oliver). As the number continues to rise, the search for potential causes has begun. While many want to blame the caregivers, they are not the potential problem. Although parents should monitor their children’s weight, they are vulnerable to society’s (power) pressures and demands. The unhealthy school lunches, weak physical education programs, and convincing food advertisements are to blame for the high obesity rate in children today. The lack of health standards for lunches and other foods in schools are a leading cause of obesity in children. According to studies, children who eat school lunches consume forty more calories each day compared to those who bring their own lunches (Schanzenbach 703). Elizabeth Jackson, a medical doctor at the University of Michigan Health System, reported that children who eat school lunches are over two times more likely to eat fattier foods and more sugary drinks (“Children”). In the past decades, the government has attempted to develop effective lunch programs that limit the intake of unhealthy foods that children eat. The 1995 policy, “School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children,” required school lunches to meet one-third of the recommended number of calories, protein, and certain vitamins and minerals (Schanzenbach 686). Although this policy has been put into place, the government has not enforced it well enough. According to a recent study, only six percent of U.S. schoo... ... middle of paper ... ...rcher. Web. 19 Feb. 2012. Hotakainen, Rob. “Worries Mount over Lack of Physical Education in Schools.” McClatchy Washington DC News Bureau. 08 Jan 2012: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 06 Feb. 2012. “Children Who Eat School Lunches More Likely to be Overweight.” University of Michigan Health System. American College of Cardiology, 13 Mar. 2010. Web. 19 Feb. 2012. McLaughlin, Joseph. “Researcher Shows Negative Effects of Advertising on Children.” Inside Fordham. Fordham University, 17 May 2010. Web. 08 Feb. 2012. Ramstetter, Catherine L., Robert Murray, and Andrew S. Garner. “The Crucial Role of Recess in Schools.” Journal of School Health 80.11 (2010): 517-526. Academic Search Elite. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore. “Do School Lunches Contribute to Childhood Obesity?.” Journal of Human Resources 44.3 (2009): 684-709. ERIC. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.
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First of all, an increasing amount of kids are becoming overweight because their schools pressure them to eat sugary, fatty, and high-calorie foods. Not only do many schools promote consumption of harmful foods, many schools also actively serve them in school lunches. In 1963, 4% of kids were obese; currently, approximately 17% of kids are obese. Some might argue that kids themselves are the reason for the increase, because school lunches also provide healthier foods. Unfortunately, most kids do not have much of a choice - healthier foods are priced much higher than their unhealthy counterpart, consequently many parents do not want their kids to buy the more expensive, yet healthier product. In my 3½ years ...
“More than a third of the county's children are overweight or obese.”(Gustin, 1). As shocking as this is, it's true. One of the big reasons that children and teens are overweight is because of the foods that they eat. They are fed these fattening and unhealthy foods by the school system. Their futures can be changed if we change our choices. Having more nutritious lunches can have a positive impact on the health of American teens.
Are your children getting all the right nutrition in their school lunches? Do they know what their lunch options are and whether or not they contribute to obesity? David Zinczenko in his essay, “Don’t Blame the Eater,” tries to persuade readers that consumers are obese because of the lack of food options, and how innutritious foods at fast food restaurants is harmful to the human body. He claims that when only unhealthy meals are available, there are many different health problems that result such as obesity and diabetes. While I both agree and disagree with Zinczenko that eaters aren’t to blame, I will assert that school lunches have an impact on childhood obesity (like fast food restaurants) and also how it is a young eater’s responsibility whether or not to eat the healthy nutritional foods.
Since 1971, obesity has increased 70.4% (Lewis). Obesity has accelerated at a ridiculous rate. Over 32 million children eat school lunch every day (Lewis). One or two thirds of their daily meals are provided by their schools; therefore most of their daily consumption is trusted in the hands of our government (Lewis). Since obesity has escalated tremendously since the 1970’s, it is only reasonable to make their school lunches responsible for the growth in obesity over the last 45 years (Food Timeline).
Childhood obesity is a serious problem among American children. Some doctors are even calling childhood obesity an epidemic because of the large percentage of children being diagnosed each year as either overweight or obese. “According to DASH sixteen to thirty-three percent of American children each year is being told they are obese.” (Childhood Obesity) There is only a small percentage, approximately one percent, of those children who are obese due to physical or health related issues; although, a condition that is this serious, like obesity, could have been prevented. With close monitoring and choosing a healthier lifestyle there would be no reason to have such a high obesity rate in the United States (Caryn). Unfortunately, for these children that are now considered to be obese, they could possibly be facing some serious health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancers. All of these diseases have been linked to obesity through research. These children never asked for this to happen to them; however, it has happened, and now they will either live their entire life being obese, or they will be forced to reverse what has already been done (Childhood Obesity).
To begin, school meals do not set a solid foundation for children regarding the diet habits they will have for the rest of their lives. For example, they are teaching kids that greasy pizza and corn dogs are a part of a healthy, nutritious diet. One student says, “We think school lunches are healthy because they have all these posters in the cafeteria telling us to eat healthy food and be active; we think the school is doing their part by serving us healthy food too, but they are not” (Jimenez). Not only do children think that this cheap food is a good choice, but schools also think they are benefiting because of how much money they conserve.
Outside of school kids don’t get enough proper nutrition. Everyday in the United States there are approximately 12 million children who receive a free or reduced price lunch because their families may need government help. Besides the fact that many students rely on school lunches for their daily meals, the healthier school food that schools provide is a benefit for the children because it can prevent childhood obesity as well as improve the child's academic performance. There are many kids who rely on school lunches to provide them not only enough food but healthy and nutritious foods for their health. Underprivileged families can not afford food for every single meal at times so these school meals are important for them. There is nearly 4
Williamson, D. A., Han, H., Johnson, W. D., Martin, C. K., & Newton, R. L. (2013). Modification of the school cafeteria environment can impact childhood nutrition. Results from the Wise Mind and LA Health studies. Appetite, 61, 77–84. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2012.11.002
School lunches should provide the healthiest options for students. Ann Louise Gittleman, one of America’s top nutritionists, stresses that “Healthy eating gives energy and concentration skills opposed to unhealthy processed foods which slow one’s brain down and cause sugar crashes in children.” thus making children bovine. If students crash, their focus can be shifted and lessened. According to the School Health Policies and Programs Study in 2006, 11.7 percent of elementary schools, 19 percent of middle schools, and 23.5 percent of high schools included meals from fast food restaurants, such as Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, amon...
School lunches has become an important factor in changing childhood obesity. Taking high calorie foods out of lunches, changing their foods to whole grain, and changing food portions they give kids, schools across the country are trying to change kids’ lifestyle. Many have complained about the nutrition plan in schools and many have defended it. Childhood obesity may be a major problem but school’s healthy lunches are not helping.
After working hard on that test that took almost an hour to finish, the scent of dirt and fresh air hits the face. The sound of laughter fills the air. Ah, freedom! Recess has always been a way for children to be themselves and take a break from school work. With the help from researchers it has been proven that “recess may play an important role in learning, social development, and health of children” (“Let Them Play”). Children benefit from recess physically, mentally, and socially.
The increase rate in childhood obesity urged Michelle Obama to improve school lunches. In result of First Lady Michelle Obama addressing the issue, nutrition standards were raised in the Healthy Food Act of 2010. Sources show that this law caused a heated debate among parents. The question still stands, is the food actually healthy? the food system in the United States is making it very difficult for students to receive the nutrition they need to grow into healthy adults. The National School Lunch Program plays a huge role involving school lunches. I believe that the National School Lunch Program has influenced school lunches in a few positive ways. Their program is great for low income families and they also promote healthy eating and physical activity through changes in school environments. The National School Lunch Program is the reason behind schools serving breakfast, as well as the increased amount of fruits and vegetables. The National School Lunch Program, Michelle Obama, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, another contributor in school lunches, have been fighting to improve school lunches, but they are not doing so well when it comes to improving the food served on the
Some schools even sell junk food to students like popcorn, chocolates and chips when in reality they should be offering fruits, granola bars and other snacks filled with nutrients. Students struggle to find fast food items they enjoy while remaining within the 600 calorie-per-meal guidelines. (Zuercher) A way that we can help decrease the growth of child obesity is by offering children healthier lunch options in schools. What schools are doing to try and decrease child obesity is changing the schools lunch menus. They are offering healthier food options and are serving more fruits and vegetables. Early childhood nutrition is very important especially at a child’s early stages of life. As we learned in class good eating habits and physical activity are very important. Eating healthy would help lower the chances of children developing diabetes at a very
Nationally, about 17% of people under the age of 20, about 12.5 million are considered obese. School districts that serve students food that are high in calories and fat are to blame for the growing numbers of obese children. Although school lunches provide students food at minimal costs, the poor quality of food served delivers inadequate nutrition and is responsible for the rising numbers of obese minors in the United States. In order to combat this growing problem, school districts must limit student choices in the lunchroom and provide healthier food nationally. Although some school districts may argue this, it is necessary to do so as school districts in Pennsylvania and Mississippi and university studies support this claim.
How unhealthy are school meals? Why do people want healthier school lunches? Many students don’t believe the healthier lunch options are really that much better for you, and because some schools can’t afford the healthier lunch choices, people are beginning to think school lunches are just fine. In fact, most people wouldn’t change a thing about them. Although junk food is quick and cheap, schools should make every effort to increase the amount of healthy foods and to decrease the amount of junk food because healthy foods are more nutritious and energy-rich so you can stay focused in class, many Americans are obese and the rate of obesity is growing, and junk food leads to other physical and emotional problems.