Should vending machines be banned in schools?
MEL4601 Dr Wadsworth November 2, 2009 Obesity is a serious and growing problem among adolescents in the United States. “In 1999, 13% of children aged 6 to 11 years and 14% of adolescents aged 12 to 19 years in the United States were overweight. This prevalence has nearly tripled for adolescents in the past 2 decades” (“Fact Sheet”). A key cause for concern is that “overweight adolescents are at higher risk of medical conditions such as hyperlipidemia, glucose intolerance, hypertension, and sleep apnea. Also, overweight adolescents are more likely to be overweight as adults, and they are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and
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209-25). Vending machines are a good source of income for schools and this extra income allows them to offer more activities to their students. However, the extra income is not worth risking the health of students. Governmental involvement to help regulate the contents of vending machines may be a plausible solution. However, currently there isn’t much regulation and a complete ban on vending machines is the only plausible solution for now. In addition to that, most adolescents, especially those in elementary and junior high levels, do not have the mental capacity to be making the right decisions at that age. This is a key reason as to why the purchase of alcohol and tobacco is controlled by age restrictions. A study by Kubik et al stated that “more machines at school represent more low-nutrient snack selections and more opportunity to purchase such items” (1168-173). Their findings also suggest that “students with access to snack vending machines at school are choosing low-nutrient vending snacks instead of fruit, a practice that undoubtedly contributes to the habituation of unhealthy dietary behavior” (Kubik et al. 1168-173). Also another study by Weicha et al concluded that “among students who use school vending machines, more report buying sugar-sweetened beverages than any other product category