Why Do Healthy Habits Begin Young?

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Healthy Habits Begin Young
The childhood obesity rate in the United States has tripled since 1980, with about 17% of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 being identified as obese (Montoya, 2011, pg. 1). Although some programs have been put into effect to lower the obesity rate, there has been little to no success. Many schools are still selling unhealthy foods to children, such as candy, chips, sodas and various other unhealthy foods. Children are not meeting the recommended nutrients needed to grow and develop, putting children at a higher risk for health problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Students attending schools that provides low nutrient density foods are not receiving their necessary daily intake of the core
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argue that forcing children to eat healthy foods can be cruel. According to their research children eat unhealthy brand name foods to fit in with their friends. Their research shows children automatically associate healthy foods as undesirable and may categorize the child eating them as weird. “Health products and brands are perceived ambivalently, and have negative connotations. Choosing healthy foods are emotionally and socially risky for young people. Young people use food products and brands to project a desired identity, to signal their belonging and to judge others” (M. Stead et. al, 2011, pg.1). At the same time children are perceiving healthy foods negatively because eating healthy isn’t the norm. Rhetors arguing that schools should not implement healthy foods because children will be at “Social risk” are missing the major problem. If children were exposed to healthy foods every day in school, healthy foods would no longer be out of the ordinary. The only reason children see unhealthy foods as the superior choice is because it’s all they see. It is what is on TV, it is what their parents feed them, and it is what their schools provides them. If these strong exposures to junk foods began disappearing, and were replaced with healthy foods, there would not be a problem. If children were subjected to only having healthy options in school, this negative view of fruits and vegetables would …show more content…
The reason for the lack of success in attempting to supply better food for children is that schools are afraid of losing profits. Administrations of different elementary and middle schools are coming forward saying that they are afraid of what changing the foods in the cafeterias and vending machines may do with their high profits. The Journal of School Health suggests that the reality of removing unhealthy foods can harm schools. Schools using foods high in fats and sugars in cafeterias and vending machines benefit from large profits (Yvonne M., et al., 2014, pg. 451). This is a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument because they are assuming that only unhealthy foods will profit the school. The schools cannot presume that they will no longer profit off of vending machines and cafeteria foods if they begin serving healthier options. The schools cannot postulate that they would not profit equally from serving healthy food to their

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