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Junk Food Bans in Middle School

            Junk food is the universal catalyst to all children's happiness. But some will say that happiness is a miniscule element considering a child's health. One of the most serious issues in America today is childhood obesity. Research conducted by Carol Ogden states that "one-third of school-age children are overweight or obese in the U.S." (Ogden 1). This is mostly due to the eating habits that were installed in the child at an early age. Children develop these eating habits at home and at school. At home, parents may not be feeding their child healthy foods. This will eventually cause their child's eating habits to become unhealthy. While home may be where the issue begins, school also has a big part in a child's health as well. School is where children spend most of their time. A study conducted by Jay Curtis states, "middle schools without junk food regulations maintained a 37% overweight rate from 5th to 8th grade, while schools with junk food regulations started at 39% in 5th grade and declined to 19% by 8th grade" (Curtis 1). Therefore, some may say that middle schools should ban junk food and give the children a healthier alternative to eating. Though this may seem like an excellent plan, I'd like to approach this issue from a different point of view. .
             I believe that junk food should not be banned from middle schools. Banning junk food without other strategies is a superficial remedy that dilutes personal responsibility. To begin, I believe there is a problem with defining junk food. Potato chips, soda, and pastries would be considered by most as junk food, but what about pizza, cheeseburgers, and chicken fingers which are served in most middle school's cafeterias? Many forget about these types of foods. When looking at junk food, all foods should be considered. An important part of education is learning to make good, responsible decisions. Therefore, it should be the individual's choice whether or not they would like to eat junk food or eat healthy.

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