Obesity is one of the common health complications in most school going children, a fact attributed to the poor eating habits adopted by most children and the fact that most school programs have failed to provide students with adequate knowledge on correct eating habits. Most obese children have other health complications, which include high blood pressure, diabetes, and other cardiovascular problems, resulting from the accumulation of fats in the body. Currently in the U.S., the overweight problem among schoolchildren is even becoming a national security threat, because the federal government cannot find suitable army recruits (in terms of size and weight) to replace retiring, old and dead soldiers (Spillius, 2010 p.1).
Considering this and the fact that students spend most of their teenage life in school, there is need for schools to put into practice all they preach to students on the importance of healthy diets. Most of the foods in most American schools’ cafeterias and vending machines are junk, and the fact that most cafeteria menus do not encourage consumption of healthy diets has made the scenario worse; hence, the current obesity status of most school-going children. In addition, because school administrations run such eateries, or the same school administrations have some form of control over what such eateries sale, most school’s efforts to eliminate the consumption of junk foods have failed. Considering this, sometimes it is very questionable whether school administrations are very serious in their war on the sale of junk foods and the need of a healthy society. Although in most cases people associate obesity with parent’s inability to guide their children on healthy diets, it is important to note that schools have the greatest role of educating children as far as their health is concerned. This is the case primarily because, as compared with times spent with parents or guardians, children spend more of their time in school; hence, the school environment plays a crucial role in shaping children’s attitude on maintenance of a healthy body.
Sometimes it is very illogical why some schools can sign contracts with junk or unhealthy food supplying companies. On the other hand, the scenario even becomes very ironical, because of the fact that, the same schools that encourage the need for students to be healthy are the same schools that are main beneficiaries of such deals. This case is common in many American schools in states for example, Ontario where some school’s boards signed deals worth million dollars with food supplying companies to provide soft drinks and junk foods (Wolf Clinic, 2010, Para. 8-10). These like dealings are obstacles to any communal and governmental effort to minimize the consumption of unhealthy foods, because societal institutions that should support such efforts are the major obstacles. Therefore considering school influences as far as the children’s diet is concerned; there is need for schools to integrate in their programs measures, which will ensure students reduce the consumption of junk food and other high caloric foods.
It is important to note that, such efforts to encourage consumption of good and healthy foods will be fruitless, with the same schools doing the opposite. That is to discourage the consumption of junk foods, schools administrations should aim first to eliminate the many vending machines and cafeterias, which sell junk foods from schools. In addition to elimination of such vending machines, schools should integrate in their curriculums appropriate healthy eating lessons, for it is the primary way of showing concern and dedication in eliminating the vice from schools. On the other hand, there is need for schools to include in their menus healthy diets, because it will be of no significance for schools to eliminate eateries that sale junk foods while maintaining their junk diets (Sharma, 2010, p.
Sharma, S. (2010). Practice what you preach. Health.
Retrieved April 4, 2010, from< http://www.hindustantimes.com/rssfeed/health/Practice-what-you-preach-at-school/Article1-521431.aspx> Spillius, A. (2010). Obesity among U.S.
schoolchildren a risk to national security. The Telegraph. Retrieved May 4, 2010, from uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7632462/Obesity-among-US-schoolchildren-a-risk-to-national-security.html> Wolf Clinic. Stop child abuse: “Junk, the Junk food”. Retrieved May 4, 2010, from< http://www.thewolfeclinic.com/newsletters/2006/junk_the_junk_food.html>
uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7632462/Obesity-among-US-schoolchildren-a-risk-to-national-security.html> Wolf Clinic. Stop child abuse: “Junk, the Junk food”. Retrieved May 4, 2010, from< http://www.thewolfeclinic.com/newsletters/2006/junk_the_junk_food.html>