Samantha C. Michigan

The Problems with School Food

A compelling argument so school food is to be changed for the health of the children of America.

 Dear Mr/Mrs. President,

School food. A problem throughout the United States of America. Have you ever sent your kids or grandkids to a public school knowing they are being served fast food? Food that has been unboxed and thrown in the oven. Chemicals that have been used to feed our adolescent developing bodies. In public schools, they serve us undercooked meats, spoiled fruit, and fast food pizza served by sponsors. Going to school, children should be fed enriched food with no artificial flavors, fat and sugar. A balanced meal should consist of vegetables, fruit, carbohydrates, proteins, and natural fats. And by being fed good food, kids have a greater outcome in school. There are multiple solutions to an issue this big. Children and parents should be against school food because it makes students become susceptible to mental and behavioral problems, they may become overweight or obese, and can also lead to severe long term health issues. By changing the school food, we will have a healthier America, not only now, but in the future.

At school you are responsible for choosing your own food to eat 5 out of the 7 days of the week. The choices are simple, if you pick a roll of 5 processed cookies, you will get no nutritional value out of eating them. On the other hand, if you choose to eat a banana, you get natural sugars, potassium that builds muscle, and it helps with the stimulation of nerves. At school, you are intended to focus all day, and by eating those cookies, you will most likely have a sugar low, which is when the sugar levels from the cookies wear off and deplete. The low glucose effect will leave you sleepy and unaware. If you eat the banana, you will be awake and fully functional during the rest of the day at school. “Nutritional deficiencies in zinc, B vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids and protein have been shown to affect the cognitive development of children. There is also evidence to suggest that diets with high amounts of trans and saturated fats can have a negative impact on cognition. This will harm the ability of students to learn at a pace necessary for school success,” says a study from Campbellsville University.[1] If children continue to eat the unhealthy choice there will be noticeable changes in the school environment, not only with cognition, but with mood and attitude. We should all be eating the correct amount of vitamins and nutrients we need to be fully functional throughout the day.

Obesity has been an important problem for a long time in the United States. In the past, America has been on top of the obesity list. “Just recently we have been moved down to 12’th place following Fiji at 35.90% of their population being obese” says World Atlas.[2] The problem is sourcing from early childhood. At school, children are being served fast food, on the daily. That includes pizza, fried chicken, french fries, cakes, and sugar filled drinks. The options aren’t so vast for the healthier foods. Public school provides rotten apples, bananas, and other fruits, slimy green beans, and smelly potatoes. No child would ever want to eat those. Another problem schools have issues with is that they serve “fruit cups”. When you hear the words “fruit cups”, what does that make you think of? Does it make you think of a bowl of fresh chopped fruit? At school, children are being fed processed cups of fruit with sugary liquid to let them have a longer ranging shelf life. Children shouldn’t be loaded with sugar and sent back to sit in the classroom for another 4 hours, they should be going outside and working off the unnatural sugars they have ingested.

At this point I would like to raise some objections that have been inspired by the skeptic in me. She feels that I have been ignoring the complexities of the situation. Many people have been informed that Michelle Obama has had something to do with the school food industry and has tried to help fix it up a little bit. In 2010 the First Lady made the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that did give free meals to students and families that couldn’t afford to purchase their own school lunches, it also “gives USDA the authority to set new standards for food sold in lunches during the regular day, including vending machines”.[3] The Act that was passed lasted for 5 years. It expired in September of 2015; and now a year has gone by without the Act in process. The Act also implied that “will provide resources for schools and communities to utilize local farms and gardens to provide fresh produce”.[3]

Have you known anybody that has had trouble with diabetes, heart malfunctions, or high blood pressure? I’m sure they may be at least older than 20 years old. Have you heard that children are now more susceptible to having heart failure, high blood pressure, and diabetes? It is becoming more common throughout the United States of America that children are becoming sick due to school foods. “ It leads to obesity, and the consequences for that besides psychological repercussions can be heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, knee and joint problems, various types of cancer and death…” says a student led research at Michigan State University.[4] Managing your diet at a young age is very important for when you grow up. You want to be as healthy as you can to live a full life without any medical issues. School food is one of the dangers for children at such a young age. Because school food is becoming such a problem, all children should be attending a year round physical health class to help them become healthier humans not only for now, but for their bright futures.

To conclude on this tragic topic, not only will America become healthier by updating their school food programs, we will become a more well-rounded community by supporting each other in the loss of the unhealthy food. Simply by changing our school food, children will have improved lifestyles, healthier bodies, and a better mindset to take on the challenges life throws at us. By changing to healthier foods, this will enforce more jobs, better pay raises, and this will have a greater impact on how this will affect the future of the United States of America.

Thank you,

Student Samantha Chambers

Clarkston High School 

Class of 2019

Works Cited:

1) Education, Gabe Duverge in. "The Impact of School Lunch on Student Performance." Campbellsville University Online. Campbellsville University Online, 15 Aug. 2016. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.

2) "29 Most Obese Countries In The World." World Atlas. World Atlas, 19 Sept. 2016. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.

3) "Department of Agriculture." (n.d.): n. pag. United States Government Publishing Office, 26 Jan. 2012. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.

4) "Issues & Problems." Cafeteria Food. CAFFFOODMSUEATS, n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2016.

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