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Food is an integral component of a person’s life. It gives our bodies the necessary nutrients and energy to grow and develop health-wise. Therefore; healthy eating is very crucial in society. Every human being requires an adequate supply of nutrients to avoid health problems. To stay healthy, it is essential that every individual consumes meals that meet the threshold of a balanced diet. Today, a huge percentage of the world’s population has deviated from healthy eating. Children are the number one victims when it comes to poor eating habits. The truth is that it is an epidemic in schools because many children are at risk of suffering from chronic health complications as a result of unhealthy dietary practices. There is a substantial need to save the children from this monster before it ruins their lives. Both parents, educators, and government have a responsibility to ensure that children’s lives are safe. The solution is straightforward, let them disseminate healthy eating messages both at home and learning centers. If the government would have sticker regulations on unhealthy food in schools and parents would have a basic foundation of food healthiness and food labeling to benefit themselves and their children, then kids would eventually have healthier lifestyles.

Unfortunately, the consumption of the modern diet has numerous adverse consequences on human health. The bitter reality is that people have neglected the traditional foods that have adequate nutrients. Research by Kearney depicts that modernization and globalization remain major setbacks for the accomplishment of decent nutrition status. There are new dietary patterns that exist today as a result of the global food supply “throughout the world, major shifts in dietary patterns are occurring, even in the consumption of basic staples towards more diversified diets” (2793). Healthy agriculture is no longer in practice as people rely so much on chemicals to produce more foods which have negative implications for consumers’ health. Kearny explains that genetically modified foods have taken over organic food production. GMOs have become a major food source for many people. There are both GMO livestock and crops that have that are available for consumption. Organic food production has gone down because people believe that GMOs come with many potential benefits.

Modern diets have adversarial impacts on people’s lifespans. A high percentage of food individuals consume nowadays is unable to safeguard them against nutritional deficiencies. An excellent example of these types of food is junk food which is consumed heavily in every part of the world. Junk food is a high-calorie food but with no micronutrients. Any food that lacks carbohydrates, proteins, and other nutrients cannot support the body to stay healthy. Anything that has no nutritional value to our body is not essential and should be avoided at all costs; however, studies show that junk foods are eaten regularly by all groups of people (Shridhar et al 438). According to Shridhar et al, the current generation is a lover of junk food “a junk food which the present generation has adapted as modern diet” (430). Human beings love junk food because it can be accessed easily which aids them from the burden of cooking.

People value modern diets because of several reasons. These foods appear nicely on the dishes something that attracts many customers. Nevertheless, people forget the fact that eateries make use of harmful food additives to make them appealing. More so, some use food colors to enhance flavor and some chemicals to stay for a longer period. Let people know that different food diets are affecting their health in a detrimental way. There is no way you can dwell on consuming junk food and expect to live a longer life. Life expectancy has gone down because of various patterns of diseases. The shift from traditional food to a modern diet is a primary cause of nutrition-related cardiometabolic complications (Popkin et al. 17). Diseases such as cancer, and being overweight are on the increase because of shifts in how people eat today. The only means to prevent these problems from occurring in the future is by educating parents across the globe on the importance of consuming healthier foods.

Parents have failed terribly when it comes to guiding their children on eating habits. It is heartbreaking that parents are at the forefront of encouraging young persons to consume unhealthy foods “mothers are a primary influence on their children’s diet and health (Johnson et al. 220). Every parent wants the best for her child; therefore; they should influence proper eating behaviors. Children need guidance on how to eat well and avoid foods that are hazardous to health. Parents have reasons why they do not restrict their young ones from consuming unhealthy foods. A majority of parents believe that their children have an appetite for healthy foods; hence, they end up serving them what they like most and which is junk food. Parents have become overprotective which has contributed to children’s poor eating habits. Overprotective parents allow children to eat their favorites because they do not want to engage in fights with them. They like making their children happy at the expense of their health.

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As a parent keeping unhealthy food out of your home is a crucial decision. It is a parent’s responsibility to watch and restrict a child from eating meals that have zero nutritional value. According to a study by van der Horst, and Sleddens, parents influence their kids’ eating habits “the development of healthy eating behavior in toddlers is often of concern to parents” (2). A parent should interact with his or her child in all food-related situations to control what they eat at all times. Parents need to be stricter when it comes to enforcing certain eating practices. However, some parents lack knowledge of healthy foods. The government should come in handy to educate parents on the best eating practices. There are many food and dietetics professionals that can be employed by the government to carry out civic education. Through this procedure, parents will learn the recipes, guidelines, initiatives, and practices of healthy eating (Hart et al. 12).

Children and fast foods are inseparable. It is not easy to restrict children from consuming junk food. Parents often plead with their young ones to avoid buying fast food but it falls on deaf ears. Ipatenco explains things that attract children to love fast food. According to her, corporations that deal with fast food use enormous marketing strategies that make children go for junk food and not home-prepared food. An advertisement is a powerful tool that firms utilize to entice children to go crying for fast food. Secondly, children emulate their parents’ eating habits. Presently, parents come home with processed foods and serve them to their children. From that point, children learn that fast food is the best way to go. Many kids will prefer fast food over vegetables. This is so because, unlike junk foods, vegetables are not attractive and sweet. Children love sweet and appealing things; hence, they dislike vegetables on many occasions.

School nutrition is a fundamental part of children’s academic journey. No one can doubt the fact that healthier students excel well. Schools should serve children nutritious meals and drinks. It is very critical to educate a kindergarten child that eating well is vital. The such kid will grow up knowing what eating healthy means and it will be easy to avoid junk foods that are of less value. Regrettably, many learning centers subject students to processed foods. Datar and Nicosia put forward that the availability of processed foods in American schools is alarming. A corporation making processed food targets schools knowing that students love that kind of food. In the end, school managers end up having no choice other than to provide fast food to their students (335).

It shocks me to learn that school-going children are remarkably unhealthy consumers. Processed food in schools is one of the major contributors to childhood obesity “junk food availability in schools has contributed to the childhood obesity epidemic” (Datar & Nicosia 312). Research carried out by the CDC established that more than seventy percent of schools possess vending machines. It also found that most schools have snack bars that feed their student’s high-fat foods which are not good for their health (Senauer 11). They have created a culture where students think eating cheeseburgers for lunch is the best alternative.

The burden associated with obesity among school-going children is enough to justify that the government is not doing enough to remedy the overall situation. If only the government had effective policies and regulations on healthy eating people would not be lamenting the social cost of food-related deficiencies. Due to government laxity, about one hundred and twelve thousand people die yearly due to obesity. These are the substantial rationale for the government to swing into action and save the future lives of children in schools. There are at least ninety-five percent of the country’s kids enrolled in different schools, and they spend half of their days in school (McKinney 1). Therefore; the government should come up with appropriate means of ensuring that foods served in schools are healthy and of great nutritional significance.

Several schools in the United States of America suffer from a lack of expertise and knowledge in interpreting food label information. Nevertheless; it is not their fault but of the government because labeling food products is under the control of the Food and Drug Administration. FDA has been mandated by the government to regulate the nutrition information required on various food packages. More importantly, the government should work through the FDA to offer education on various elements of food labeling information. This effort will enable school managers to read and make use of the label on various foods before serving them to learners. Saha et al. explain that promoting the use of food label information in schools is essential because it helps schools to make proper purchasing decisions (777). Let both students and educators have the competency to access and read the nutritional data on various labels. In a nutshell, healthy foods are the ingredients of healthy living. Parents should train their children to avoid foods mostly fast foods because they are harmful. Junk foods are tempting; however, people should avoid them to evade lifestyle diseases. The research has shown that the government has a crucial responsibility of ensuring that schoolchildren have a healthier lifestyle.

Works Cited

  1. Datar, Ashlesha, and Nancy Nicosia. ‘Junk Food In Schools And Childhood Obesity’. Journal Of Policy Analysis And Management, vol 31, no. 2, 2012, pp. 312-337. Wiley, doi:10.1002/pam.21602. Accessed 11 Feb 2019.
  2. Hart, Laura M. et al. ‘What Parents Know And Want To Learn About Healthy Eating And Body Image In Preschool Children: A Triangulated Qualitative Study With Parents And Early Childhood Professionals’. BMC Public Health, vol 15, no. 1, 2015. Springer Nature, doi:10.1186/s12889-015-1865-4. Accessed 11 Feb 2019.
  3. Ipatenco, Sara. ‘What Attracts Kids To Fast Food?’. Healthyeating.Sfgate.Com, 2019, https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/attracts-kids-fast-food-1589.html.
  4. Johnson, Cassandra M. et al. ‘It’s Who I Am And What We Eat. Mothers’ Food-Related Identities In Family Food Choice’. Appetite, vol 57, no. 1, 2011, pp. 220-228. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.appet.2011.04.025. Accessed 11 Feb 2019.
  5. Kearney, John. ‘Food Consumption Trends And Drivers’. Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol 365, no. 1554, 2010, pp. 2793-2807. The Royal Society, doi:10.1098/rstb.2010.0149. Accessed 11 Feb 2019.
  6. McKinney, Tyra. ‘Putting Local School Wellness Policies Into Action’. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, 2014, https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/npao/pdf/SchoolWellnessInAction.pdf. Accessed 11 Feb 2019.
  7. Popkin, Barry M et al. ‘Global Nutrition Transition And The Pandemic Of Obesity In Developing Countries. Nutrition Reviews, vol 70, no. 1, 2012, pp. 3-21. Oxford University Press (OUP), doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2011.00456.x. Accessed 11 Feb 2019.
  8. Saha, Snehasree, et al. ‘Knowledge And Practices Of Using Food Label Information Among Adolescents Attending Schools In Kolkata, India’. Journal Of Nutrition Education And Behavior, vol 45, no. 6, 2013, pp. 773-779. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.jneb.2013.07.011. Accessed 11 Feb 2019.
  9. Shridhar et al. ‘Modern Diet And Its Impact On Human Health’. Journal Of Nutrition & Food Sciences, vol 05, no. 06, 2015. OMICS Publishing Group, doi:10.4172/2155 9600.1000430. Accessed 11 Feb 2019.
  10. Senauer, Benjamin. ‘THE OBESITY CRISIS: CHALLENGE TO THE FOOD INDUSTRY’. The Food Industry Center, 2003, https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/14309/1/tr03-04.pdf. Accessed 11 Feb 2019.
  11. Van der Horst, Klazine, and Ester F. C. Sleddens. ‘Parenting Styles, Feeding Styles And Food Related Parenting Practices In Relation To Toddlers’ Eating Styles: A Cluster-Analytic Approach’. PLOS ONE, vol 12, no. 5, 2017, p. e0178149. Public Library Of Science (Plos), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0178149. Accessed 11 Feb 2019.

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