All Risk, no reward
It is no secret that today’s children are eating more and more junk food. And who can blame them? Large companies junk food spend billions of dollars a year advertising directly to them. Without guidance from their parents, they will fall into the trap of unhealthy eating. It is convenient, easy and everyone is doing it. Schools are also on the hook for maintaining this trend of unhealthy eating. Kids go to school to learn, but there is a gaping hole in one area – nutrition education. Sure, kids can take a health class here and there, but how much, if any, of the class is spent discussing the importance of eating habits in the long-term health plan? Vending machines in schools present many dangers to our children. Here are 5 school vending machines present dangers to children. Attention, parents and school administrators, because you are the ones that have to push much needed change.
1. Makes Kids Fat
food (and I use that word generously) available in traditional vending machines are high in calories, fat, sodium and preservatives. Nothing is good for your body. Kids especially need a diet high in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sugars and overly processed foods. When vending machines are available throughout the day, the temptation is constantly there for a quick snack before, after and between classes. Peer pressure and social eating contributes to higher consumption of vending products and before you know it, kids are snacking on unhealthy food all the time. The more they eat, the more they want. It becomes part of their daily lives and as we all know, practices and habits is very hard to break.
2. Teaches Poor eating habits
Again, the children go to school to learn but that they are to blame when junk food in school vending machines is all they have to choose from? Even if a healthy lifestyle is taught in health class, no healthy choices available in vending machines, the lesson goes right out the window. Eating habits formed very young; some say children under 2 or 3 years has formed preferences that carry into adulthood. The children learn to eat the wishes of their parents most of the time. If one parent expresses aversion to eggs, for example, is a good chance that the child will not like eggs. If food choices at home are unhealthy, kids will not think twice about buying a candy bar or a bag of greasy chips school. We need to break this vicious cycle to get these kids back on track so they can have a healthy life down the road. Approximately 80% of obese children will grow up to be obese adults. Poor eating habits lead to poor quality of life that these children grow older.
3. Sugar Crash
There is a vicious circle related to junk food. If your body is used to consume it, it will crave it. If you eat a candy bar to satisfy your cravings, you will likely experience what is called a sugar rush. There is so much sugar in most of these junk food (and snacks that are not sweet so many empty carbohydrates they just turn into sugar and have the same effect) that children will like sugar “high” of sorts and they will find it difficult to concentrate and concentrate. Similarly, after the first impact snack subside, the kids will go through a sugar crash. This scientifically proven event affects young brain in a way that children become mentally slow, they have a hard time paying attention and fight with quizzes and tests. Since test scores are sometimes tied to government funding, school really needs to wake up to what sugar is doing to their students. Aside from general health topics, vending machines in schools can effectively reduce the budgets of the schools.
4. Behavior Problems
Studies have shown that kid eat has a direct impact on his or her behavior. This can be considered crazy talk in a world where many doctors would just as quickly diagnose a child with ADHD and prescribed medication but suggest parents actually do something and work with your child to improve their nutrition. That is not to say that some guys do not really have behavior problems may not be possible to fix a new diet but there is harm in trying new, healthy diet first? Schools build behavior problems of their students by allowing junk food to sell on campus. Teachers should know about the relationship between diet and behavior and they should take it as a serious gesture to do something to help their students get back on track. Parents can only do so much. When children are facing Massa junk food in vending machine day after day, they do not have the willpower to stay on course.
5. Traditional Vending and new guidelines
With the passage of new child nutrition law, it is likely that food does with traditional vending machines in schools will no longer allowed. This legislation gives more power to the USDA determine what nutritional standards will be implemented in schools. However, schools will be subject to this main revenue currency and simply remove vending absolutely will put a strain on many budgets. So what is the solution? One innovative company is making healthy vending machines available in schools. These machines are only 100% natural, organic products that will help fight obesity and teach kids healthy eating habits. This company also offers grants to schools so they can put these machines on campus for free! These newly designed, eco-friendly machines have built-in LCD screen that can teach kids about what they are eating. Nutritional education at the point of sale offers kids a benefit they do not get with conventional machines. Giving kids a chance to really see what they are putting in their mouth goes a long way in helping them make smart choices snacks.
Who is responsible?
The danger lurks beyond every cafeteria. Effects that junk food machines have on our children, poor performance in school and teaching them poor eating habits. Sub-par grades will hold back the learning process. And habits they learn today will be in the coming years. Eating junk food on a regular basis will not only make children fat, contribute to the ongoing obesity epidemic, but it will cause them to have major health issues like diabetes and heart disease very early in life. The responsibility for breaking this cycle lies with parents and school administrators. Parents, your job is at home, creating a strong foundation of smart food choices and make decisions readily available for children. Schools need to support the efforts of parents have also to make healthy food choices available at your school. Together we can end the obesity epidemic and making school campuses risk-free!