Junk food is defined as food items which are generally considered to be unhealthy and have low nutritional value. However, many children and teenagers enjoy consuming junk food because it tastes good. Nevertheless, junk food is commonly outed as one of the main causes of obesity in young people. Some school canteens sell junk food among other things to students. As such, it is believed that the sale of junk food in school canteens is banned in order to improve student’s behavior, reduce litter in schools and it is indeed the school’s responsibility to take care of students’ health.
Firstly, the sale of junk food in school canteens should be banned in order to improve students’ behavior. Smith (2005) asserted that many additives are present in junk food which causes behavioural problems in children, such as poor concentration and hyperactivity. Besides, responses from The Food Show (2005) affirm that reducing unhealthy foods intake among children can improve their behavior. The responses on the show also indicate that junk foods are often packed with chemical additives which can trigger behavioural problems. This is further testified by a school which removed junk food and soft drinks from their school canteen. It was found that the students became calmer in class after lunch (The Food Show 2005). Therefore, students’ behavior can be improved by banning the sale of junk food in school canteens.
Another reason why the sale of junk food in school canteens should be banned is to reduce litter. Most junk food is wrapped in plastic packaging which needs to be disposed of afterwards. Unfortunately, many irresponsible students discard junk food packaging in various places instead of waste bins (Lin Tran 2005; Smith 2005). According to Smith (2005), litter is a hazard to safety and health, increases costs and is bad for community’s image. Schools which have reduced the sale of junk food in their canteens have witnessed a reduce in the litter produced (Smith 2005). When schools’ litter problems are reduced, school groundsmen have more time to spend on maintenance projects which benefit their schools instead of picking up litter (The Food Show 2005). Hence, the sale of junk food in school canteens
should be banned in order to reduce litter.
The next reason ban the sale of junk food in school canteens is that schools have the responsibility to take care of their students’ health. According to Lin Tran (2005), the nutritional value of food eaten by Australian children has been continuously dropping over the past three decades. Therefore, schools should educate young people about good nutrition and promote good eating habits through healthy food policies (The Food Show 2005). Healthy foods in the canteen can reinforce the messages that students receive in the classroom about good nutrition. Also, soft drinks should not be sold in school canteens because the dental health of Australia’s primary school children is declining (Lin Tran 2005). Indeed, Health Foundation (2005) pointed out that many of the popular snack foods including biscuits, chips and hamburgers have low nutritional value. This further reinforces the reason for school canteens to stop selling junk food.
In conclusion, the sale of junk food in school canteens should be banned in order to improve student’s behavior, reduce litter in schools and it is indeed the school’s responsibility to take care of students’ health. Once students discover healthy and delicious alternatives to junk food in school canteens, their desire for it will gradually wane.