Healthy Lunches Limit Childhood Obesity Essay

1076 words - 4 pages

The average school lunch has about 900 calories, which is about half of the amount of total calories a child should consume daily. Many schools attempt to serve healthy lunches for students, but sometimes they are not aware of what "healthy" is. Other times they do not feel it necessary to spend a large amount of money on healthy food. If schools knew how healthier food would affect a child academically, they might be more inclined to pay. The American government must increase school funding, so that the schools can make this change for the students' benefit. School officials must also look at the percentage of children who are obese, and consider how providing a healthy school lunch will help to lower that number. Healthy school cafeteria food is essential for school aged children in the United States because it will help them pay attention in school, improve their learning capabilities, and minimize childhood obesity.
Healthy school lunches would help students academically. There is not a teacher who would want their students to be distracted. Often when children are hungry, because of a light lunch, or a lunch full of simple carbohydrates, they will become distracted. If schools serve lunches with whole grains and protein, the students would stay full and attentive much longer than a student with a lunch of sugar, white bread, and lush greens. Although many believe that schools should provide a healthy lunch for students, there is a small percentage which feels that because of the budget cuts, schools should not pay for more expensive and healthier food. Shereen Jegtvig, a nutritionist, wrote "Appleton, Wisconsin replaced their regular poor-quality school lunches with healthy fresh food…changes resulted in improved behavior… and zero truancies. Eating healthy at lunch will help keep [a] child's mind sharp and ready to learn all afternoon." For a child to develop a healthy and functioning brain, many important nutrients are essential. If a student wakes up and eats a toaster pastry, that would leave them sluggish and tired the rest of the day, lacking energy. If they eat a lunch with white bread and desserts or chips, the same effect would take place. Healthy school lunches would obviously help children improve how they do in all school subjects, including gym, and healthy lunches would also help reduce childhood obesity.
Since healthy school lunches would help lower children's obesity percentages, a small amount of money seems like a fair price to pay. If children are consuming about 50 percent of their total fat, carbohydrates or sugar, during lunch, that leaves them with a problem for dinner. A child whose parents do not have time to make them a lunch, should not have to limit what they eat at breakfast and dinner. It should be the school's job to make the lunches healthier. Another problem with the lunches, are that students are all different sizes, with equally diverse exercise habits. Some play sports, and others get...

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