Junk-Food-Ban in Schools
Weight gain, leading to childhood obesity, during the school years has prompted many countries to push for a junk food ban in schools. In early 2010, the United States began the process of getting such names as Pepsi, Coca Cola and Snickers out of school cafeteria vending machines, along with removing food items such as French fries that are often readily available on the menu.
As pediatricians begin treating more obese and overweight children with illnesses previously associated with adult obesity, such as sleep apnea and Type 2 diabetes, fingers have pointed at the unhealthy foods made available to kids in schools as part of the cause. A junk-food-ban in schools combined with teaching children how to choose and prepare healthier options is part of the movement observers and researchers hope will begin to tackle the issues of weight-related problems seen in school-aged children.
The National Parent Teacher Association, medical advocacy groups, health watch groups and even the United States government are working toward a junk-food-ban in schools that would include the removal of sugar and fat-laden snacks and treats. This movement would follow suit on a junk food ban placed on many schools' official school lunch and breakfast programs. But while these meals have been made to offer healthier fare, the availability of junk food in vending machines, snack bars and as school fundraisers undermines the efforts to create a completely healthy eating environment in schools.
As recently as 2005, there was no limit to the availability or amount of sugar-laden and fat-filled food children could eat at school. Changes in the past couple years, due to junk food ban in schools, has already begun to show results. The biggest result is seen in the percentage of childhood obesity reaching a plateau recently, instead of continuing to climb.
Companies such as Coca Cola and Pepsi have been given the opportunity to maintain a presence in schools but with healthier options. Advocates for junk food ban in schools have pushed to have high-calorie soda beverages replaced by bottled water and fruit juices.