America is facing a crisis because of our eating habits (Codey, 2006). Americans spend $200 billion per year in diet-related health care costs twice as much per person than any other developed (Kalafa, 2011). The estimated annual cost of obesity is $123 billion which is half of which is paid for by Medicare and Medicaid (Kalafa, 2011). Over 95% of America's health care dollars is spent on disease treatment, less than 5%is spent on prevention (Kalafa, 2011). A 2008 study found that children who bought lunch at school were at an increased risk for being overweight (Kalafa, 2011). The study also found that students with a higher consumptions of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, and and vegetables performed better on a standardized literacy assessment, independent of socioeconomic factors, the researchers report that there was an association between overall diet quality and academic performance (Kalafa, 2011). Bad eating habits developed at an early age lead to a lifetime of real health consequences, that's why New Jersey is the first state to adopt a comprehensive school nutrition policy that bans candy, soda, and other junk food (Codey, 2006). Junk food should be banned in school lunches because of the calories, health problems, and addiction.
An average human being consumes 2231 to 3300 calories per day, when a man needs to consume only 2400-3000 and a woman needs to consume 1800-2400 (Cespedes, 2014). Mr. Abdelghany, a physical education teacher at Lemon road says “Intake is a portion, if you are active you need more intake. If the intake is less than the fat burned you will lose weight.” Junk food contains high levels of calories from sugar or fat with little protein, vitamins or minerals. “ We serve a variety of choices for children” says Walt Leppin SNS Fairfax County Public Schools, Food and Nutrition Services. “I hope every school serves a healthy meal, they should educate parents to eat healthy and to make sure their children eat healthy. If we all eat healthy food and exercise each day, we would be a healthy nation.” says Mr, Abdelghany. The campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood reports, about 98% of all televised food ads seen by children are for foods high in sugar, fat, or sodium (Kalafa, 2011). One thirty-second commercial can influence the brand preference of children as young as 2 years old (Kalafa, 2011). In a 2007 study, preschool children reported that food in Mcdonald’s wrappers tasted better than the same food in plain wrappers (Kalafa, 2011). A 2010 Yale University study found that children significantly preferred the taste of foods that had popular cartoon characters on the packaging, compared with the same foods without characters (Kalafa, 2011). Marion Nestle, NYu’s Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health,0p;/ says that for the food industry, Number one is to get kids to pester their parents, what you really want to do is convince kids that they have their own special foods, in special packages with special colors and design and not eat adult food regardless of the quality of the food (Kalafa, 2011). In 1960, Americans spent 17.5% of their income on food and 5.2% on health care (Kalafa, 2011).
Today’s teenagers are almost 3 times as likely to be overweight than they were 20 years ago (Middle, 2014). Only 2% of school-age children at the usda’s serving recommendations for all 5 major food groups. Half of America’s school- children eat less than one serving ong of fruit a day. With all this consummation of junk food teenagers can’t help but to intake all these calories. If you intake 3500 calories you have just gained a pound. According to the Institute of Medicine, at least 30% of the calories in the average child’s diet derive from sweets, soft drinks, salty snacks, and fast food. The nine highest calories fast food meals are, Bruléed French Toast containing 2780 calories, Peppercorn Burger containing 3540 calories, The Big Slab containing 2770 calories, 9’’ Signature Deep Dish Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza containing 2160 calories, Chevys Super Cinco Combo containing 1920 calories, Farfalle with chicken and roasted garlic containing 2,10 calories, The Big Hook Up containing 3280, Prime New York Steak Contadina Style containing 2420 calories, Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake containing 1500 (9, 2014). Some schools provide a vending machine in hallways as snacks but the students students don't know that those snacks are jam packed with calories. Many people say that schools should provide junk food because they will burn it off anyways, but not all students get the time to burn off those calories, it depends on how old they are. “There are about 500-600 calories in a regular school lunch” says Walt Leppin. If you are a high schooler or middle schooler you get tons of homework dumped on you everyday which will take you at least 2 hrs or more, with all this homework when will the students even get time to get fresh air or even step out to go on a jog.
There are many risks to junk food such as Stroke, Weight gain, Tooth decay, Liver problems, Cardiovascular diseases, and Gastrointestinal Problems (Coffman, 2007). If you want a healthy heart you shouldn’t consume more than 1500 calories per day, you need some sodium to maintain normal fluid balance such as 2300 milligrams per day, but if you eat too much sodium you might increase blood pressure and stroke risks (Coffman, 2007). Consuming 2500 milligrams of sodium increases stroke risks by 34 percent (Coffman, 2007). Examples of junk food with high sodium are potato chips, french fries and pepperoni pizza, eating large quantities of these foods may increase stroke risks (Coffman, 2007). Did you know if you consume 500 calories each day and do not burn any of them you could gain a pound in just a week. Many people say that they won’t get any unhealthy conditions but many people do each year. Tooth decay occurs when enamel, the protective coating on your teeth, starts to break down (Coffman, 2007). Eating Junk food coats your mouth, gums, tongue and teeth with sugar (Coffman, 2007). The sugar coating attacks enamel and leads to tooth decay and cavities (Coffman, 2007). Junk food is often filled with trans-fat, an artificial fat that is used as a stabilizer so premade foods can sit for long periods of time before they are consumed. As your body works to remove this fat from your system, it can build up. Consuming fast food that is high in sodium and cholesterol daily can cause damage to the cardiovascular system. Cholesterol can clog the arteries, increasing the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Processed junk food provides very little dietary fiber. You need fiber in your diet to keep your bowels moving (Coffman, 2007). If you don't get enough quantities of fiber, you may suffer from constipation (Coffman, 2007). When this process occurs, you may go many days without having a bowel movement or have difficulty passing stools (Coffman, 2007). A stool is the discharge of fecal matter (Coffman, 2007).
In 2005 Americans spent $60 billion on junk food (Mercola, 2014). Many people eat junk food on daily basis, but the problem is you can’t stop, you think you will stop sooner or later but every day you keep on putting on more and more weight and fat. Food addiction is a very serious problem and one of the main reasons some people just can’t control themselves around certain foods, no matter how hard they try. When you are near your favorite type of junk food snack you are powerless, you might think that you might not eat much but you are not facing reality (Hoyt, 2014). “The look, the advertisement, they make the burger look so delicious. Your eyes eat before your stomach, your eyes send a signal to your brain” says Mr. Abdelghany. Many people might think it is very hard to give up junk food but it actually just takes 6 weeks without any junk food, many do the paleo diet. The paleo diet is the healthiest diet you can do (Robb Wolf 2015). You probably think sugar is more addictive than cocaine, but actually sugar is not the reason behind junk food addiction. “There are three things, sugar, salt, and fat, these are tempting for everyone” Walt Leppin. Food manufacturers go to great lengths to find the perfect blend of salt, sugar, fat, and additional flavorings to excite your brain's reward center, therefore making sure you'll be back for more (Mercola, 2014). Food manufacturers combine various flavors and textures to produce addictive products (Mercola, 2014). This science is used not only for chips, cookies, and sodas, but for all processed foods. Two primary factors make the experience of eating food pleasurable, one involves taste, and how the food feels in your mouth, the second factor is the actual macronutrient content of the food. Strategies food manufacturers use are Dynamic contrasts, Salvation responses, Rapid food meltdown, Sensory specific response, vanishing caloric density, and Calorie density (Mercola, 2014).
Just because you're not a lunch lady doesn't mean you can't have an influence over school lunches and snacks (Curtis, 2013). If you live in a state where your school doesn't ban junk, consider petitioning for healthier foods overall instead. Remember this a very critical argument, a 2001 Surgeon general report found that 14 percent of American children are obese (Middle 2015) . This is compared with 4 percent in 1963. The report also noted that 300,000 people die each year from obesity-related illnesses or conditions made worse by obesity. Junk foods, high in fat and sugar, contribute to weight gain and obesity, which in turn puts children at risk for diabetes, heart disease and other health problems. Junk food addiction has gotten out of hand but very serious. Junk food should be banned because of the calories, health problems, and addiction.