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Should unhealthy food be banned from school? Should unhealthy food be banned from school?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I do not think schools should be selling junk food.  They sell it because it's profitable, making money off the backs of their children.  The so-called healthy alternatives in vending machines these days are hardly better.  We need fruits and salads, not sugary juice drinks!

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wannam eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would say yes because students are not truly capable of making appropriate decisions at that age. If the cafeteria allows a student to buy pizza and a cookie rather than salad and an apple, of course the kid is going to grab the junk food. I agree that we should be teaching our children about proper nutrition and such as part of their overall education. However, I still think children, for the most part, lack the self-control to make this type of decision. Perhaps, we should be demonstrating healthy eating habits for them. It's okay for a school to have pizza friday if the rest of the week has been good, nutritious options. This is helping students understand how to eat healthy while still enjoying other food options.

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Verdie Cremin eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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My response is somewhat ambivalent, like the response of # 3.  My first instinct is to say "yes"; my second instinct, rooted in an appreciation of freedom, is to say "maybe not."  In general I think that everything should be done to make healthy food accessible to students in schools.  Banning unhealthy food entirely may, ironically, make it more attractive to students because they may see it is "cool."

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bullgatortail eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Some excellent points are made in the above posts. First, there is very little way to control what foods students bring from home. An attempt to ban certain foods that parents send their children would result in some seriously angry parents. As far as vending machines, I totally agree that schools should restrict the sale to healthy foods and drinks, though there will always be debate about what is healthy. Sodas are bad, Gatorade is good? Not necessarily. My main complaint is with the food served in cafeterias. Menus are based on affordable foods in most cases, and not healthy ones. Starchy foods predominate, sadly. Of course, part of the problem with cafeterias is that many students prefer to eat junk food--a favorite is frozen pizza--instead of a complete meal. Schools try to juggle the menus around their limited budget, and many schools can't afford to provide fresh veggies and wholesome proteins, and even if they do, many students won't buy them. As is usually the case with education and schools, learning begins at home, and until parents themselves take an active part in stressing and providing consistently nutritional meals at home, schools will always be at a disadvantage.

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brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Banned from sale anyway.  It only seems logical that public schools should provide healthy food and teach healthy eating habits.  By not doing so they would merely be reinforcing obesity that is already at epidemic levels, at a much higher cost to society than fruits and vegetables now.  If parents still want to send fattening foods with their kids no one can stop them, but we could adopt a much more sensible policy for what the school makes available, particularly in the free and reduced lunch program.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I agree with Posts 3 and 5 that simply banning unhealthy food is not a good way to proceed.

First of all, I think that we cannot possibly ban children from bringing unhealthy food from home.  I think in a way that it would be deeply offensive if we were to do so since we would then be in the position of dictating to parents what they could allow their children to eat.

Secondly, I think that blanket bans are not a good way to inculcate good habits.  I think that banning foods makes them seem more attractive.  Instead, I believe that education is the key to improving health.

Finally, I would say that we should ban vending machines that sell unhealthy food.  I think that lunches...

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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kychong7 | Student

Fruits are definitely what's needed more because it is the healthiest food. I believe that unhealthy food like junk food should at least be restricted.

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