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School Cafeterias: Regulating Junk Food

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The prevalence of childhood obesity in the U.S is at an all-time high with nearly one-third of all children and adolescents now considered overweight or obese (Ogden 2011). The argument as to whether or not schools should be able to sell junk food is a highly controversial topic. More than half the population in each school in the U.S purchases lunch from their school cafeteria. Also, many students in elementary schools don’t know the difference between the right and wrong thing to eat so they rely on their school to feed them. 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. The evidence as to why junk food should be regulated in school cafeterias is overwhelming. Poor eating habits developed at an early age lead to a lifetime of real health consequences. School is where children spend most of their time, and it is where we lay the foundation for healthy habits. In order to better understand my position we will examine the most common opposing arguments. 1. It is the parent’s responsibility to decide whether their child needs junk food or not. Some argue that removing these snacks from schools takes away parental rights, but a parent should want what is best for their child. No parent wants their child to become obese and end up with various health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Parents obviously don’t have bad intentions and don’t mean to cause health and image problems for their children. The problem is that parents lack the knowledge and education to stop obesity. Children deserve to be guided to the best possible p... ... middle of paper ... ...K., & Flegal K. M. (2014). Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. Journal of the American Medical Association, 311(8), 806-814 Roizman, Tracy . "Reasons Eating Junk Food Is Not Good." Healthy Eating. Demand Media, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. . Trogdon JG, Nonnemaker J, Pais J. Peer effects in adolescent overweight. Journal of Health Economics. 2008;27(5):1388–1399. Tavernise, Sabrina. "Study Links Healthier Weight in Children With Strict Laws on School Snacks." The New York Times. The New York Times, 12 Aug. 2012. Web. 14 May 2014. Codey, Richard . "Should states ban junk food in schools?." Scholastic Publishes Literacy Resources and Children's Books for Kids of All Ages. The New York Times Upfront, 10 June 2006. Web. 14 May 2014.
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