Should the sale of junk food in school canteens be banned?
In the era of globalization, advance technologies in food industries have also claw their way up into the food market by making fast foods, also known as junk foods. Junk food has been an issue among dietitians quite often these days. Nonetheless, most of them agree that all food including junk food; can form part of a healthy diet if eaten in moderation. According to Smith (2005), junk food is a term which is commonly used to describe any food that is perceived to be unhealthy and of low nutritional value. Statistically shown, more than 50 percent of children are taking more than recommended intake on fats and sugar contents in foods. Therefore, I totally agree that the sale of junk food in school canteens should be banned.
First and foremost, intake of junk food may lead to excessive weight gain and other health-related problems. Junk food include take away food, pre-packaged meals, and sugary snack foods, mostly raise the kilo joule intake and lead to weight gain. In addition, it worsens as physical activity is not in the mindset of young generation these days. Central University researcher Professor Steven Reynolds says that by offering foods high in fat and sugar, school canteens are actually contributing to the problem of youth weight gain. (Weekend News 2005) A research made by Health Foundation in 2005, highlights that low nutritional value of snack foods are most popular compared to high and moderate nutritional value. This shows that children are not well-nourished because of junk food.
Secondly, litter problems are common incident occurring when there are sales of junk food in that particular area. In this case it is in the school compound. Due to the packaging, fast foods are likely to be the main cause of litter problems. Litter is a safety and health hazard, increases cleaning costs, and is a bad image of our communities. (Family Journal 2005) Eventually, schools that have reduced the sale of junk foods in their canteens have actually reduced their litter problems. Indeed, according to Green (2005), the school groundsman does not have to spend so long cleaning the grounds and has more time to spend on maintenance projects that benefit the school. Therefore, junk foods also contribute towards pollution.
Next, junk foods are actually cause behavioural problems. As most junk foods contain chemical additives, they actually cause behavioural problems in children such as hyperactivity and poor concentration. This is well supported by Caputo (2005) as and added, “Research shows that reducing unhealthy foods in children’s diets can improve their behaviour”. Another statement from Green (2005) says that teachers noticed a marked improvement in student’s behaviour in class and they became calmer after lunch. Thus, this proves that junk foods are the cause bad attitude among children.
All in all, junk foods are likely to cause children to gain weight and be disease-prone if they consume too much of them. Moreover, not only that they will be having a bad attitude-change but also will contributes to litter problems to the public. Schools should also contemplate a way to educate these children to know more about the consequences of over consuming junk foods. So, I sincerely hope that every school in the country will not belittle this issue and take immediate action to combat the existing problem before it is becoming a habit among our future leaders.