Almost ⅓ American children eat junk food, gaining an extra six pounds a year. People want to ban junk food to solve this problem. However, some people believe that junk food should not be banned. Junk food should not be banned because schools are quitting the healthy lunch program, vending machines losing money, and free choice for students.
The first reason why junk food should not be banned is that schools are quitting the healthy lunch program. “After just one year, some schools around the country are dropping out of the healthier new federal lunch program, complaining that the cafeterias were losing money.” ( Thompson, press,1) most kids would rather go hungry than eat healthy lunches provided to them by the school which causes the school to lose money from the lack of food being sold. Students in Kansas even wrote and performed a parody of the song “we are young” called “we are hungry”. This got the attention of the school as well as many of the student’s parents causing them to send their children with packed lunches from then on. “The School Nutrition Association found that 1 percent of 521 district nutrition directors surveyed over the summer planned to drop out of the program. ” (Thompson, press,14) This percent is lower than it was in 2003 when the program first started.
The second reason junk food should not be banned is because of vending machines. Vending machines are put in schools so kids can have their snacks and schools can use the snack money for other useful school activities. If schools replace vending machine snacks with healthy food students are more likely to go over to a convenience store and buy them. With fewer students spending money at the vending machines or in the cafeteria the school is losing money it needs for other activities. “Before the ban on junk food the ASB earned nearly $214,000 from vending machines and now they barely get $17,000.” This shows that the vending machines helped schools but now that there are healthy foods and fewer students using them the school does not get as much.
The final reason junk food should not be banned is that students have free choice. Students should be allowed to make decisions about food for themselves, whether they are healthy or not they help students show independence in decision making. “There is little argument that encouraging exercise is a much more fruitful approach to combating obesity in children than eliminating one soda per day from lunch.” (Jacobs, W.E. Carson-Dewitt, Rosalyn, 13) Even though exercise would help the problem more, no one seems to turn to it. “Should we be offering something kids want to buy in these machines? Assuredly not, say advocates of Big Brother Knows Best. Can the sodas and introduce…water. Let these kids eat apples” (Jacobs, W.E. Carson-Dewitt, Rosalyn, 16) offering kids something they will not eat makes them more likely to avoid it.
Some people think that junk food should be banned. Health experts believe that if you are obese as a child you are more likely to be obese as an adult. “15 percent of children between six and nineteen suffer from obesity.” ( Lee, Deborah Sprague, Nancy, 6) in other words, these people believe that junk food is the cause of obesity in adults and children. Yes, junk food is one of the reasons people are becoming obese, but it is not the only/main reason, therefore, banning it would not help the problem as much as some alternate ideas.
Junk food should not be banned because of schools quitting healthy lunch programs, vending machines losing money, and free choice for students. Students do not like the healthy meals given to them during school so they resort to packed lunches or just going hungry. Schools replacing the food in the vending machines makes the students not want to use them as much which makes the school lose money that they once got. Students should be able to decide what they eat without having the government tell them it is bad for them.