Should Schools, Cities And Restaurants Ban Sugary Foods For Kids? Essay Example
People all over the world are becoming more and more health conscious with each passing
day. There is lot more awareness regarding health among the people. They are trying every bit to stay fit and healthy. Among these people and their health concerns, the section that is most affected are the children. They have their own peculiar eating habits and preferences which make them prone to different sets of diseases and also increase the chances of many future illnesses. Although their eating habits are difficult to control, but they are very important, controlling them will make the students healthier, thus giving rise to a healthier future and a healthier society. Students, especially the younger ones are largely dependent on sugary food products. They crave for sugary items; at times the parents also try to use those sugary stuffs as baits for their children in order to get some work done by them. For some, offering a chocolate to a student is a token of love for them, it is a way to show them that they care. These habits make the students indulge more in the sugary items. The more they have, the more they want. Little awareness and control regarding the consumption of sugary foods can help a lot. If students are offered healthy snacking items like fruits, multigrain biscuits etc., these will not only reduce the student’s tendency for the sugary foods but will also be beneficial to his health. Cutting on sugary items will make the child fitter and healthier. It is not that he is lacking in carbohydrates because of lack of sugar, he is getting carbohydrates anyways in whatever he eats all the day long. Therefore the chances of having lower carbohydrate levels and thus becoming glycemic are almost nil. As mentioned in a well known site based on children’s health, the amount of sugar given for consumption can be kept in moderation to prevent the child from too much exposure to sugars (Barton). But how much is too much stands the question. If a child is bingeing on sweets he will continue the habit of doing so. What may be a moderate amount for some may be a huge quantity for others. The quantity that is right cannot be decided as it varies from person to person. The required level of carbohydrates is decided depending upon the level of physical activities, which is variable. Therefore, it is not an easy task to determine the required level of carbohydrates on a general note for different persons.
Some may argue that the student’s need a constant flow of carbohydrates so that their body and brain can function properly. They may say that certain amount of carbohydrates do fall under the RDA or Recommended Daily Allowances. This carbohydrate is required for carrying out day to day activities in a normal way. The sugar will provide body the fuel that is required for its proper functioning (Healthychildren.org).
Thus their point cannot be denied outright. It does hold true in many cases. There are children in poor households who may not be getting that minimum amount of carbohydrates in a day. In such situations the children grow up as malnourished individuals. Also for some diabetic students it is essential to keep eating something every few hours to keep a check on their blood sugar levels. Therefore in these cases the argument does hold good. It does have some validity and justifies the fact too.
But the point is that the RDA is also fulfilled by the normal food that every person has on a daily basis. Even if a food product is not sweet still it contains certain amount of carbohydrate in it. And if the point is about having a good supply of carbohydrates to the brain and body, then that can be achieved from healthy foods like fruits, juices, milk and so on. Sugary foods are not the only alternative to depend upon.
The sugary food causes lot of damage to the teeth, which is the reason why a large number of students develop cavities at a very young age. They suffer from pain, bad breath and other dental problems. These problems may continue for years and make the lives of the students miserable. At times, these are the reasons for students not being able to attend schools. Hence by fulfilling the child’s demand of having a sweet or two daily may sound good from a child’s point of view, but it will harm him in the long run.
Sugar may not cause obesity as such, but according to medical science when an excess of carbohydrate is consumed which is left unused by the body, it gets converted into fats. That indicates that a prolonged consumption of sugary food may lead to obesity (Johnson). And it is a worldwide known fact that children obesity is currently one of the major health issues all over the world. Doctors and parents all over the globe are trying their best to curb this menace from the society. It is something that can paralyze the future of the world. Even in some researches it is shown that excessive sugar consumption may cause attention deficit disorder in the children (Pirouette). This happens because after a significant rise in the blood sugar level the drop in the same affects the body badly, now the body requires more sugar to cope up with the drop. If in this situation the child does not takes enough glucose, he may become hypoglycemic. Hypoglycemia then in itself has its own set of symptoms and complications which the student and his family may have to del with. This gives rise to symptoms like lack of concentration, shaky feeling and headache (G).
Not just minor health issues, sugar consumption in excess can lead to more serious diseases. Becoming obese is a proven fact, and along with obesity comes a lot of other diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases in the long run. These diseases are a risk of lifetime. The diseases develop as a result of weakened bodily systems, mainly the circulatory system. The extra unused calories convert themselves into fat cells which will lead to obesity. Similarly they can cause occlusion of the arteries leading to hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. The patients affected with these diseases have to suffer lifelong, they have to remain under medications all their lives. Therefore we can say that the mistakes committed by the students in their childhood can affect them throughout their lives as grown up individuals. The deeds of the childhood will bear their fruits later in the lives in terms of serious diseases.
Easy availability of sugary foods will make students crave for more. The easier they have access to the sugary foods, more they will get used to it. Availability of the sweets in schools, restaurants and other places will increase their appetite for these things. If the access is lessened their intake will also reduce, which will benefit the students a lot. The society thus needs to be more considerate and should take steps in order to reduce the accessibility of these foods to the students. As we all know, out of sight, out of mind; the students will crave for these things lesser than before. The availability of the type of food will make the students consume those food items, if those food items are healthier options they will benefit the health of the students directly. This may affect the business of the food shop owners, but will help in improving the health of the students. They will be dependent on healthier food alternatives. They will be consuming food richer in nutrients that will benefit them, at large. Instead of having mere sugars they will be get food richer in different types of minerals and other nutrients.
Thus we may say that avoiding sugary foods can be possible by reducing their availability in stores which are accessible to students. It will greatly reduce their health risks and their tendency to binge on the sugary foods. Their easy accessibility makes the students more inclined to consuming these food items. They attract the students and hence the students end up consuming these items. Their palatability increases their demand among the students, who ultimately fall prey to these baits. There are enough evidences to prove that avoiding these food products will keep students healthy and fit. Some may not agree with the fact that not having sugars is an option, but reducing the intake definitely is. Reduced intake will mean a healthier and safer body and a secure future thereof. People may have their own views, but the majority does favor not having those food products. Most of the researchers and the doctors are of the view for the students consuming sugary foods are harmful for their health and over well being. Condemning them completely is not the solution, but reducing the intake definitely is.
Although the fact is acceptable of the opposing views also, they are not wrong at the same time. The facts they present are equally correct, just the point of views differ. Both the sides do focus on the health of the students. Their opinions are different, they may have different outlook on the same matter, but the motive is same. The fact cannot be denied that consumption of carbohydrates is a must; there is no difference of opinion regarding this matter. The difference lies in the food items that should or should not be consumed. Thus if they look into the other side of the coin and understand the implications of the concerned matter, they will be able to appreciate the opinion and see the different aspect of the same fact. Hence we can hope that the researchers who have a different opinion will give a more detailed thought over the issue and will enlighten others regarding any other view in this matter. And together both the sides will work for the betterment of the students, that is, the future generations of the world who will decide the further course of our Earth and the future of our upcoming generations thereof.
Barton, Schmitt. 'Pediatric Advisor: Sugar And Sweets'. Childrenshealthnetwork.org. N.p., 2012. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.
G, Melody. 'Harmful Effects Of Excess Sugar | Ask Dr Sears® | The Trusted Resource For Parents'. Ask Dr Sears® | The Trusted Resource for Parents. N.p., 2013. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.
HealthyChildren.org,. 'Fat, Salt And Sugar: Not All Bad'. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.
Johnson, Kathy. 'Sugar Hurts Your Child’S Health'. SheKnows. N.p., 2012. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.
Pirouette,. 'Why Is Sugar Bad For Your Children'. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.