Doughnuts, chocolate bars and potato chips. These indulgences should be just that, indulgences. Unfortunately, for the more than 30 million children who eat school lunches and breakfasts, these are the types of foods that our kids are eating. These are also the types of foods that on a daily basis are interfering with their performance.
Research has shown that placing a ban on junk food in schools does have a beneficial effect on students. A study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has shown that schools that have eliminated junk food from their school lunch areas have noticed an 18% reduction in overweight and obese students.
With information on nutrition policies, survey results from students, parents and staff and other factors on school food policies, researchers were also able to link such factors with childhood obesity and classroom performance.
Foods already banned in most schools include chewing gum, hard candies and soda water. Researchers hope marketers will limit the sales of junk food to schools. Since parents cannot monitor what the students are eating at schools, administration should do their best to overlook the options they have, making sure they are healthy and smart choices.
More than just banning unhealthy foods, schools can also offer classes or courses in nutritious eating and living. These lessons that students learn at a young age can carry over into adulthood, continuing the cycle of healthy eating.
There have been reports that the Mexico government has already made plans to ban junk food from all primary and secondary schools this upcoming school year, as part of an anti-obesity campaign. The actions taken by these schools will hopefully set an example of what schools here in the U.S. should be doing.
Picture By: mauricesvay