In schools across the country, staff take many measures to ensure that students are getting proper nutrition. But is this enough? Research shows that around twenty percent of all children ages six to nineteen suffer from obesity. It is vital to teach children healthy eating habits at a young age, which is why schools should cater whole, nutritious foods to their students. For instance, many schools require students buying lunch to take a fruit and a vegetable, but oftentimes those fruits and vegetables are neither fresh nor appetizing, so who can blame the students for not eating them? However, if schools were to have salad and fruit bars with attractive, fresh foods, students would be much more likely to eat fruits and vegetables. In addition, there should be less junk food in schools: having pizza brought in every once in a while, is fine, but students should not be encouraged to eat pizza every day. Everything should be as nutritious, fresh, and whole as possible. In addition, sugary drinks should not be served in schools. Instead, fresh, cold water should be available to all students for free through a clean fountain or water jug.
In addition to lunch, breakfast, snacks, and dessert are often available to students at most schools. Breakfast at school is a great option for students who do not have time to eat breakfast at home, or for students who receive free or reduced meals at school. However, many other students who have already eaten breakfast at home choose to buy a second breakfast just because they are bored or want to skip part of class. Instead of being encouraged to purchase unhealthy, processed breakfasts, students who do not actually need a breakfast should be able to take an apple or banana for free. If the student is truly hungry, then he or she will take the fruit, and if the student just wanted to get out of class, he or she will have eaten one less processed meal. Finally, many students buy cookies or ice cream on a daily basis, which is not healthy. Instead, schools could have “Fun Fridays,” for example, where healthier desserts could be served once a week.
By seriously altering the way that school lunches are mass-produced and provided throughout the United States, obesity in children will decrease. School systems cannot control what children eat while they are at home, but if schools start providing positive examples of healthy and nutritious foods, children will be more likely to learn healthy eating habits and eat nutritiously on their own. Obesity is one of the biggest problems in the United States and kills millions every year. Teaching children proper nutrition habits will help slow and prevent obesity in children, which will only continue to worsen if the obesity epidemic is not conquered.
“Obesity.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 18 Sept. 2018, www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/obesity/index.htm.
“Stats of the State of Massachusetts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, 11 Apr. 2018,