(A Persuasive or Argumentative Essay)
I. Introduction of the Problem
Junk food (e.g., French fries, soda pop, ice cream, etc.) tastes good and has high calories, but only has little nutritional value. Some, if not most, schools sell junk food to students because they are affordable to students who have small pocket money. On the other hand, other students whose taste buds became accustomed to eating junk food, even though they have the financial means, also find time to eat this kind of snack. In US public schools alone, as children move to higher grade levels, the food they consumed becomes less healthy because only less nutritional values are obtained from consuming a variety of junk food (Finkelstein, Hill and Whitaker). Junk food consumption is a problem that needs solution that is why the USDA advised schools that school-aged children (aged 2 years and over) should have a healthful and balanced, daily dietary nutrition (USDA: Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion). Don’t let the taste of junk food fool you as it will be harmful to your health later in your life.
Many US school districts nationwide planned to curtail unhealthy menu items of its secondary school students (Racette). So, if you are the parent, teacher, principal, politician, manufacturer, and/or stakeholder, would you be persuaded that junk food should be banned in schools?
III. Development of Solution: Why eating junk food is a health issue?
Junk food is a health issue in schools because of the little nutritional value that students can obtain from it. In addition, students become prone to health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, low energy levels, heart diseases, and so on. Studies reveal that students become obese due to their large quantity of junk food consumptions, easiness to buy junk food in schools, persuasiveness of ads about junk food, lack of activity, etc. (Beil). According to Beil, regular consumptions of junk food and other high-processed, high-calorie foods have negative effects on the brains of children.
Instead of eating junk food, there are other more affordable yet balanced/nutritional food available in the market today. Moreover, politicians, parents, school heads and other stakeholders should make it a point that the school canteen will not sell any junk food. Students also should not be allowed to eat junk food inside the school; instead, there should be policies, rules and regulations to combat its sale in school (such as use instead of junk-food free vending machines).
The controversy surrounding the banning of junk food in schools is also met with oppositions. There are students who believe that it is up to them whether to eat junk food or not. They have the right to choose which food to eat as long as it will not do them harm such that eating one small pack of junk food a day will not cause students to become obese. Instead, they say that schools should focus more on more pressing and persistent education issues such as school gangs, bullying, etc.
On the contrary, some students state categorically that junk food is not good for one’s health. Various research findings point to the fact that junk food will cause more harm than good (Beil; USDA: Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion). Schools, for the most part, decide and act for the wellbeing of its students. Hence, when schools include in its policy the banning of junk food, students should comply. There is really nothing wrong if students in schools will abstain from eating unhealthy food.
V. My Personal Stance
Personally, I agree with the students who favor the banning of junk food consumption in schools. Apparently, based on evidences, junk food will not do us good.
Aside from the awareness drive, schools should constantly be vigilant regarding violations of school rules such as eating junk food. Students caught bringing and eating junk food should be twice warned with a penalty to render civic service. If a particular student run afoul the third time, he/she has to be kicked out from the school. This way, instead of suspending the students, other students will realize how serious schools are in helping them to become not just healthy individuals, but as disciplined persons.
Another effort toward solving the health issue on junk food is for schools to provide free nutritional food to students who are undernourished and malnourished. Each school district should include in its budget food for students who have health problems, too. If this is done on a regular basis, schools are way near from becoming not just learning institutions, but more importantly, who also look after the health of its students.
There is nothing wrong in eating foods. However, when one eats unhealthy food, there will always be adverse repercussions – whether immediately or in the long run. Hence, people in authorities should guard individuals from making unsound decisions and actions. The same holds true in terms of consuming junk food. Junk food, as stated earlier, is not good because it deposits many calories inside the body while only benefitting less from having the required nutrition. Hence, I am strongly in favor of junking junk food in schools.
Reality bites! Junk food will remain as junk food. We should never have a second thought banning junk food in schools. If we do not do any action, then when is the right time to do so? I think students should learn the importance of being healthy while they are still young. They are not old enough not to learn and start while they are still young. Being aware that what you eat is what will make you in the end is not far from the truth. Although eating unhealthy food may not affect you instantly or give a bad return immediately, it will.
Hence, in order for schools to ban junk food from students, it is good to provide information dissemination, look-out regularly (that is, being vigilant) against violators, and offer free nutritional food. All of these will turn the schools’ objectives of having healthy students – both minds and bodies. It is never late to strive for what is best for students. If we act now, we can see the immediate results. Thus, we have to ban junk food in our schools. Don’t let the taste of junk food fool you.
Beil, Laura. "The Snack-Food Trap." Newsweek 160.19 (2012): 44-47. Web. 18 February 2014.
Finkelstein, Daniel, Elaine Hill and Robert Whitaker. "School Food Environments And Policies In US Public Schools." Pediatrics 122.1 (2008): e251-e259. Web. 17 February 2014.
Racette, Kellie. "Trimming the Fat." Teacher Magazine 16.1 (2004): 21-25. Web. 18 February 2014.
USDA: Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 7 March 2013. USDA: Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Web. 18 February 2014. <http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietaryguidelines.htm>.