Since the turn of the new century, there has been an increased intake of fast foods, especially among school-going children. Fast foods have become a convenient mode of feeding. They are easy to find, already processed and readily available at any time. On top of that, most of them are very tasty. As a result, most school children prefer fast foods to other types of foods (Leann L. Birch). Despite the emerging prominence of fast foods in schools, it still remains a bone of contention on whether to allow these foods in school. My opinion is that children in schools should be allowed to eat fast foods with a little degree of moderation. This paper will seek to support this opinion by laying bare some facts.
Fast Foods are Convenient
In a society that runs at high speed, parents are becoming busier and have little time to prepare cooked meals for their children. Instead, they prefer their children to have fast foods which are quick and easy to find (Liebman & Brownell). Therefore, a child does not have to carry a lunch bag to school. In addition, they can easily get something to eat to relieve hunger and don't have to remain hungry the rest of the day. Fast foods are also readily prepared hence children can consume them on the go. This ends up saving lots of time.
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Wide Variety and Cheap Cost
Fast food outlets offer a wide range of foods from different cultures at a relatively low price. Many fast food outlets offer sandwiches and burgers together with foreign delicacies ranging from Chinese to Mexican dishes. Therefore, allowing fast foods in schools will enable children to spend less on meals while still enjoying quality foods of a wide variety (Kimm S., 1995). As a result, this reduces the financial strain on parents and also allows children to stay within their budgets.
Issue of Obesity
As we enter the new millennium, obesity has emerged as the biggest public concern especially among children. Obesity poses an increased risk for cardiovascular disease due to increased body levels of cholesterol and fat (Leann L. Birch). On average, fast foods contain about 300mg of cholesterol and 50g of fat (Brownell & Liebman). The high levels of fat in fast foods combined with reduced physical activity contribute significantly to the obesity epidemic in children. However, this problem can be managed by encouraging children to exercise more. A wide variety of outdoor activities should be factored into the children's curriculum. Activities, like running and playing soccer, will help to burn excess fat in the bodies of children and help them to remain healthy.
Fast foods have emerged as a food of choice in the modern world where everything has to be done fast. They are convenient, cheap, readily available and easy to access. In addition, they are present in a wide variety at a cheap cost. Therefore, fast foods should be allowed in American schools due to their convenience and low cost. However, consumption of fast foods should be combined with the consumption of other healthy natural foods. Regular exercise in school children should also be encouraged to prevent obesity and other health effects of fast foods.
- Birch L.L., Fisher JO. Development of eating behaviors among children and adolescents. Pediatrics 1998; 101:539-550.
- Brownell K., Liebman B. The pressure to eat: why we're getting fatter. Nutrition Action Healthletter 1998; 25:3-10.
- Kimm S. The role of dietary fiber in the development and treatment of childhood obesity. Pediatrics 1995; 96:1010-1015.