Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Gum: Not so Dumb? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Schools around the country ban gum, but recent studies may help once again give gum a good name. Research has concluded that gum chewing has many health benefits and contributes to a positive learning environment. Given this, bringing gum back into schools should be a no-brainer.

Gum chewing has been proven to increase concentration in students. A study in the United Kingdom discovered that people who chewed gum while memorizing a list of words did 25 percent better than those who were not chewing. In Japan, an experiment with nine participants found that chewing gum boosted blood flow to the brain by up to 40 percent. Increased blood flow means increased oxygen to the brain, and increased oxygen means increased concentration.

It makes sense that increased blood flow would be related to enhanced alertness, says nutritionist Gil Leveille. The consistent motion of chewing has also been connected to a more peaceful classroom. The motion is thought to relieve stress and free students to focus on their schoolwork more efficiently and with less distraction. This is especially true if students are plagued by attention deficit disorder (ADD) or simply have difficulty concentrating. Given the chance, gum could turn out to be a strong asset to the classroom.

Gum is not only beneficial to learning, but also helpful in weight management and digestion. Recent studies have shown that chewing gum could help fight obesity in children and teens. And with obesity rates in America higher than they have ever been, this is huge. After research and experiments, the University of Liverpool concluded that chewing gum can greatly reduce calorie intake. This is thought to be accomplished in two ways: Gum reduces hunger cravings, and keeps one's mouth occupied. Nobody likes to eat while chewing gum, so unnecessary snacking is reduced. The act of chewing may also aid in digestion by increasing the flow of saliva. When saliva is swallowed, it stops the reflux of acid back into the throat. Acid reflux in children and teens has grown exponentially in the past few years. It is considered one of the leading causes of esophageal cancer, which is also on the rise in this age group. Anything that could aid in solving this problem could save lives. Gum has great potential to do good.

With all these benefits, why do some schools continue to ban it? They claim that gum can degrade school property. Students have been known to stick it under desks and other places when they are done chewing. Well, if students were allowed to chew gum they would not be fearful of properly disposing of it. Currently students who chew gum do so against the rules, and so must hide the evidence. If students could chew gum without getting in trouble, destruction of school property would probably decrease.

So, come on, schools! What are you waiting for? To continue to ban gum in the face of all these benefits is to purposefully ignore its advantages. Gum has much to offer the classroom and our lives.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





Join the Discussion


This article has 32 comments. Post your own!

Wiccan Chick said...
May 19 at 6:27 pm:
Aspartame has nothing bad in it! Aspartame is found in ALL food.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Bleachfan1 said...
Sept. 22, 2012 at 8:57 pm:
After reading this article i opened a new pack of gum. Best piece I've ever had...
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
AriShine This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm:
I like your article, and I see your points. I would have liked to see your sources, though.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Nick5 said...
Dec. 20, 2011 at 10:28 am:
Like it. But I have a tinsey problem. In your counter argument paragraph (i.e. the second-to-last one) you put the word "probably" in front of the word "decrease", making your argument a bad one. "Probably" is a turn-off. I was getting all excited reading this article and wanting gum for your school and then "probably" was like being stuck in the middle of a Tom and Jerry cartoon. My advice: take "probably out.
 
Selah This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm :

Thank you! Your comment is highly valid. I included the word "probably" because that statement was merely guess work on my part. Unlike the rest of the editorial, I had no real proof except commen sense to back-up my opinion. Still, I do agree that it weakens the argument.

(Do they say "Probably" in Tom and Jerry?)  :)

 
Nick5 replied...
Dec. 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm :
No, I was using the metaphor of Tom and Jerry to refer to pain.
 
Selah This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm :
ouch harsh
 
Nick5 replied...
Dec. 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm :
How did you know my nickname!?! (Question for the world: why did they take the iterobang out of punctuation?)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
StephanieY said...
Sept. 14, 2011 at 11:50 am:
I really like this!
 
Nick5 replied...
Dec. 20, 2011 at 10:27 am :
Like it. But I have a tinsey problem. In your counter argument paragraph (i.e. the second-to-last one) you put the word "probably" in front of the word "decrease", making your argument a bad one. "Probably" is a turn-off. I was getting all excited reading this article and wanting gum for your school and then "probably" was like being stuck in the middle of a Tom and Jerry cartoon. My advice: take "probably out.
 
Nick5 replied...
Dec. 20, 2011 at 10:28 am :
Whoops! That was supposed to be a new comment.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Annie Marie said...
May 5, 2011 at 9:37 am:

Gum has aspartame....

Google aspartame and then tell me you still think gum is a good idea.

 
Annie Marie replied...
May 8, 2011 at 6:57 pm :
there is no gum that doesn't have aspartame other than stuff you order off the internet or bubble gum...
 
AubreyD. replied...
Jan. 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm :
Yum. Chemical.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
inspiredbytheworld said...
Mar. 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm:
I loved this article! It included excellent points and obvious research; a lot of though was obviously put into this. It would be an excellent argument toward allowing gum in schools. I especially agree that if people were allowed to chew gum freely, then there would be less destruction of school property.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
brodrick james said...
Feb. 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm:

i agree with your poem because teachers act like gum can kill you at my school but kids still chew it like its nothing.......gum is so good i wish barak obama would make a speech about gum in school and officially let us chew it........

P.S. i hope all kinds of flavors of gum just fall out of the sky at any moment

 

 
cindy x. replied...
Feb. 16, 2011 at 11:20 pm :

I agree with every thing you said, but at the same time kids could abuse the privilege. There are some different gums that have extra caffine and also kids could ruin school property too. I love gum though so i have nothing against this article. 

P.S. brodrick, I think it would be awesome if gum fell from the sky, just like in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs!!!

 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
eileentotheleft said...
Feb. 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm:
This article is funny and refreshing. Love it. Thanks :)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
MetallixRose said...
Feb. 6, 2011 at 11:12 pm:
I totally agree with this article, becasue gum was banned at my school. But yet kids are still chewing it. We were allowed gum last year and it really brightened the mood of the studnets. gum shuld be allowed.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
SallySunshine said...
Feb. 6, 2011 at 11:35 am:
i think an emial requirement is ridiculous and turns away lots of users
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback