There is a enormous growth in the number of lifestyle-related incidences in the United States nowadays due the nature of ingredients that the American are accustomed to eating. Most of the ingredients served at the colleges where an average American baby gets at least 70% of the foods they eat. Diseases and scientific stipulations that used to be associated with human beings that are advanced in age are shifting to the younger humans due to bad eating. Regulations for meals served in America’s public schools is a be counted of serious concern for the reason that it is fundamental for humans to boost a wholesome life-style proper from childhood. Consequently, there is an urgent want for a review and alternate of the guidelines concerning the foods served in the public schools so that better lifestyles are developed.
History of regulation
The US government has always sought about ways and strategies that would make the foods eaten by the students in school healthier. For instance, through the Hunger-Free Act, major changes were made to the foods eaten by schools through the USDA. These new standards were meant to properly align and ensure that relatively low calorie diets are served to the school children to prevent incidences of obesity and other related lifestyle illnesses. High rates of obesity have been responsible for US health outcome declines and rapid increase of healthcare costs. The unavailability and unaffordability of healthy food have increased the obesity epidemic. According to the ‘U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s third of American youths are overweight and suffering from obesity. Therefore, requires the changes made for the food regulations in public schools. Nevertheless, the current diets served at the schools is far from normal no wonder Michel Obama was prompted to take lead in fighting poor feeding habits in the public schools.
There have been previous research studies showing majority of American children have not been consuming a healthy diet as per the recommended dietary guidelines and neither has been achieving the adequate daily physical activity resulting in overweight children than ever in American history (Story, 2009). Government agency has been recommended by Institute of Medicine and Center or Disease Control and Prevention to provide food and beverages following the nutrition standards (Onufrak, 2016). The recent studies revealed there has been an implementation of healthy vending policy in California to change the type of beverages available in the vending machine and there has been a 7% decrease in the usage of unhealthy beverages. It has been suggested a healthy vending policy can have an impact on the type of beverages being served in schools and parks (Narain, 2016).
Providing healthy diets to children helps them stay alerted during class, fight illness and grow into strong and healthy adults. However, the school children are getting half the food they require each day, making school a place to provide learnings of obtaining healthy habits. Therefore, ‘National School Lunch Programme’ and ‘the School Breakfast Programme’ have been providing healthy meals to millions of American children. According to the united states Department of Agriculture, through the healthy, ‘Hunger Free Kid’s Act,’ major changes have been made to serve healthy and nutritious meals in these programs.
When the students eat healthily, they will also have healthy minds and it is solely a duty of the caretaker and school to foster the provision of such health diets. Besides the educational requirements of the children, it is imperative that the nutrional needs of these children are met as well. Regulations are thus supposed to be made on the feeding of children in school because research indicates that there exists a huge causation between consumption of a balanced diet and overall performance in class of the students.
There is an optimal improvement in the overall performance of the students when they eat a balanced diet thus the need for a change in the regulation for foods served in the public schools. These new regulations should ostensibly focus on increasing the intake of vegetables and fruits in all the lunches served at the schools. The intake of a diet filled with fruits will help in addresing childhood obesity since this is identified as the major epidemic affecting the young children in the US as indicated by the huge percentage of overweight children.
Furthermore, since it is known that the risk of health and lifestyle illnesses increase with age, if the children are given healthy foods while still in school, they will be able to develop better feeding habbits. As they get advanced in age, they will be less susceptible to the life-style illnesse because they would have adopted proper lifestyles that would be carried on later in their life. Thus, it will be possible for the population to have a healthy population and the government will spend less money on providing healthy care. The money that would have been used for providing healthcare would thus be used for supporting other public services other than fighting lifestyle-related illnesses.
Additionally, most children spend a great percentage of their day at school implying that they even eat more food at school. In certain instances, some children have two to three meals at school and only one meal at home. For that reason, regulation of the food served at the schools ensures that the students get a very balanced diet as would be provided if they were at home. In case they are fed poorly, they will be mulnutrioned and have end up stunted. Thus, it is important for the regulation of the foods served at the schools. It will ensure that students get a diet having all the basic nutrients that are needed for a health growth.
Furthermore, research shows that there is a substantial number of people in the US that die due to cancer, mainly associated with poor feeding habits. Despite the fact that cancer is much different from the traditional lifestyle illnesses like diabets, having a health diet will ensure that youns children are less susceptible to such an illness. Consequently, they will live long enough to be more productive individuals in the country than if they got sick at such an early age.
Thus, a huge mix of factors exist to explain why the governmnet needs to develop appropriate regulation for food served at the public schools. These factors are a mix of health and economic factors that can be realised if a health diet is adopted. To the children, a health diet will bolster their development and also ensure that they develop better cognitive abilities and healthy minds to perform better in class. To the government, it will reduce the amount the government spends on treating life style complications and instead use such funds for supporting other projects. Thus, despite the costs that may be involved in developing a health diet at the public schools, it has a lower opportunity cost.
Narain ,K., Mata, A., & Flores, J. (2016). Nutrition Policy Decreases Sugar-Sweetened Beverages in Municipal Parks: Lessons Learned From Carson, California. J Public Health Manag Pract, 22(4),392-4.doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000301.
Onufrak, J.S., Zaganjor, H., Moore, L.V., Carlson, S., Kimmons, J., & Galuska, D. (2016). Nutrition Standards for Food Service Guidelines for Foods Served or Sold in Municipal Government Buildings or Worksites, United States, 2014. Prev Chronic Dis, 13(172).
Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of law. Food in schools. Retrieved from http://www.publichealthlawcenter.org/topics/healthy-eating/food-schools
Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of law. Healthy eating. Retrieved from http://www.publichealthlawcenter.org/topics/healthy-eating
Story, M., Nanney, M. S., & Schwartz, M.B. (2009). Schools and Obesity Prevention: Creating School Environments and Policies to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity. The Milbank Quarterly, 87(1), 71–100.
United States Department of Agriculture Food and NutritionServices. Nutrition Standards for School Meals. Retrieved from https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/nutrition-standards-school-meals