There has been a steady decline in the health of school going children in the U.S. This decline in health has mostly been characterized by a rise in childhood obesity which not only increases the risk of physical health consequences to the child but also psychosocial health issues.
This decline in health has been as a result of poor nutrition and unhealthy eating habits by most students. Ironically, junk foods which are responsible for the poor diets by children are readily available in schools through the vending machines which dispense chips, sodas and other foods that are of low nutritional value to the children. This paper shall argue that in order to ensure the health of children, vending machines which dispense sodas, energy drinks and junk foods should be removed from schools.
Argument Against Vending Machines
While health issues such as childhood obesity can be attributed to a number of causes, the one major reason for obesity is overindulgence in unhealthy foods. Vending machines have been known to encourage unhealthy eating since all the foods and drinks that are offered by vending machines are of little nutritional value therefore making children prone to obesity.
Students are especially found of vending machine products. The foods and drinks available from dispensing machines are high on fats and sugars, both of which are known to cause overweight as well as obesity.
Proponents of vending machines may argue that children have a choice to not buy the unhealthy food stuff and opt for healthier foods offered within the school. However, this is unlikely to occur since the junk foods and drinks offered by vending machines in schools are more attractive to the students. It is unlikely that a child will buy a fruit or vegetables while he/she could buy a soft drink or a candy bar. The presence of vending machines therefore tempts students to eat unhealthy foods.
Fast foods and junks result to excessive body weight which has been linked to diabetes and fatal conditions such as strokes. As such, it can be argued that vending machines dispense foods and drinks that may have dire consequences to the consumer. In addition, these diseases that can result from consumption of vending machine products result in increased medical expenditure for the country.
Considering the fact that the products dispensed by the vending machines can be replaced by products that are of a healthier nature, it makes sense to remove this machines which dispense foods and drinks that may cause fatal conditions to the consumer as well as high medical expenses.
Arguments for Vending Machines
Vending machines are not all negative and they make a positive contribution to the school. Vending machines result in corporate sponsorship for the school in which the vending machine is placed. This corporate sponsors offer monetary assistance to the school in return for a chance to advertise and distribute their products to the students.
This assistance may be in the form of building or even equipping the school’s library or gym or other projects which are useful to the school. As such, the school will benefit greatly as a result of the vending machines being in their school.
Vending machines also provide a cheaper means for some students to get their foods. Some students cannot afford the expensive nutritious diets that are offered in schools. As such, vending machines provide such students with a means with which to sustain themselves within their budget. Considering the fact that students only eat their lunch and break meals in schools, vending machines may not have an adverse impact on their health if the students go home and take nutritious means for their supper and breakfasts.
Discussions and Conclusion
Failure to deal with the issue of unhealthy nutrition among students will have various adverse effects. Poor nutrition has been seen to cause obesity and overweight in children; both of which impact negatively on the child’s mental health and school performance. For example, obese students are more likely to suffer from exclusion from peer group activities and may also experience some form of discriminatory actions from adults.
These behaviors are not only negative to the child’s psychological well being but also his/her academic performance. It is therefore necessary to deal with the vending machines which contribute to poor healthy which has far reaching consequences on the child’s welfare.
This paper set out to argue that vending machines that dispense soft drinks and sweets should be removed from our schools since they increase the health risk to children. To reinforce this assertion, this paper has forwarded various arguments of why vending machines should be banned.
A discussion on the positive attributes of vending machines has also been given so as to present a balanced view on the topic. From this paper, it is evident that vending machines result in a school setting that favors unhealthy eating habits. The only way which this problem can be solved is by removing the vending machines. While removing vending machines will come at a cost to schools, the benefits in the form of improved health of the students will be worth the cost.