Banning of Vending machine

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Obesity and Vending Machines in Schools

Obesity has become a severe problem in America, with several causes contributing. There are numerous variables that lead to unhealthy lives, but vending machines have sparked a national debate. Vending machines were prohibited from schools because they sold junk food, in an effort to reduce kid obesity in the United States. The prohibition of vending machines in schools should be accompanied with policy reforms to that effect. It is correct to strive to remove vending machines from schools, but there are other other things that contribute to children's bad lifestyles. Junk food is not just potato chips, sodas, and pastries their junk foods like fried chicken fingers, cheeseburgers, and pizza that most school cafeterias serve. Banning Sodas alone is not enough as more adolescents are consuming more and more sports drinks and energy drinks.

Restricting Soda Consumption

By prohibiting vending machines, it will not restrict a person from consuming foods with high calories. Students will find another way of purchasing sodas or find an alternative to it. The impact of restricting soda is that students will compensate for this restriction by either bringing the soda from home or drink a lot of it while they are out of school. Schools need to rule out junk food from the cafeterias as they have more calories contributing to the high rate of obesity. If the United States is to achieve a healthy future, it should establish policies that cover all areas of junk food from the soda to the fried chickens. By creating a shortage in all junk foods, people will have fewer choices to make from which will make them go for healthier options. Most children lack the knowledge on nutrition that will guide them in choosing healthier meals. It would be a major point of education if schools educated the students about nutrition and on healthy choices. Coupled with diet will be another good way of tackling obesity is increasing physical activity that will enable them to burn fat and keep fit (Cynthia p.1729). The vending machine at this juncture should be utilized so as to slow down the rate at which the students use it.

Childhood Obesity and Overweight

Obesity condition is when BMI is greater than the 95 percentile for both gender and age and overweight is defined when BMI is between 85 and 95 percentile (NIH 2012) Childhood obesity and overweight has been an increasing problem in the United States. The overall overweight and obese cases have tripled for adolescents and doubled for children for the past 30 years. An estimate of about 32% of children and youth between 2-19 years are obese and overweight. The vending machines were known to be the contributing factors to the addition of weight.

Long-Term Effects of Obesity

In the most years conditions that are related to weight were mostly found in adults.The majority of them have been diagnosed because of bad eating behavior. For example, about 15 years ago, diabetes was completely strange to many young people. Now children are found to be diagnosed. About 50% of children and youths find themselves in this situation. About 61% of obese young people have a high-risk factor for high blood pressure and heart disease. Childhood obesity is very detrimental to a child development because it's associated with psychological and social problems that hinder a youth from fully interacting with others such as poor self-esteem and discrimination. Despite the fact that the vending machine was seen to be the cause, the school should have found out ways to which the machine could be redone with healthy drinks. Also, obese children usually grow into obese adults. However, 25% of childhood obesity accounts for adult obese consequently obese children develop severe obese as adults.

Consequences and Economic Impact of Obesity

Adult obesity is a risk factor for conditions such as premature death, cancer, stroke, osteoarthritis, heart disease among many health issues. The worst effect of obesity in children is the economic damage. The total cost of obesity in 2000 was $ 117 billion; this includes medical expenses and value of wages of sick employees. The etiology of obesity and overweight has not been fully understood but it's thought to be precipitated by several various factors. Some of the factors include; hereditary, diet and inadequate physical activity, culture, social factors, media marketing, socio-economic status. Children and adolescents who are obese and overweight have greater health risks (Allison A p.270). The society also mentions about these machines that are supposed to help the student, but in a real sense, it is not.

Multi-Sectorial Approach to Obesity

A multi-sectorial approach is required to deal with the health problems associated with obesity. Schools cannot handle the problem alone especially if school-based programs and policies do not support it. However schools play a very significant role in the fighting the epidemic because of the following reasons; about 95% of youths and children are enrolled in various learning institutions, American schools have fully included health and physical activities in the education curriculum. Therefore, they would not be assigned new responsibilities; previous research has shown that if school programs are well-planned and programmed they can effectively address problems related to physical fitness and health. Lastly, schools are most appropriate institution to spearhead the campaign against obesity because emerging research clearly shows the link between good nutrition, physical education, academic performance, and nutrition programs.

Strategies to Address the Obesity Epidemic

The following are strategies based on comprehensive and holistic approach to obese and overweight problems for schooling adolescents and youth; The first strategy is to include nutrition and physical activity into an integrated a school health programs approach: The school's health program is a model that comprises of health services, health education, physical education, counseling psychology, school health environment, nutritional services, community, and family. This approach promotes student health by assessing needs and formulating policies to bridge the gap between a provisions of comprehensive, consistent health services to the students.

The second strategy is to strengthen schools' physical and nutritional system; adoption of right policies and implementing them is key to the successful program. At the school level policies should be disseminated and inculcated into to daily routine of the school. Different states in America are reacting positively to these programs by applying the policies in the board of education of the state. For instance, Arkansas law of 2003 prohibits elementary schools from selling soft drinks or food in vending machines.

The third strategy in dealing with the epidemic is to conduct quality staff health promotion for the teachers and employees; carrying out health programs for the staff is the ingenious way of ensuring sustainability of the program because it improves the morale and overall performance of teachers (John p.572). Teachers play an integral role in the success of student programs. Also, the staff gains the relevant to be great models to improve health. Heath promotional activities for staff can be healthy eating programs and screening activities.

Another strategy is to establish a high-quality physical education study course. This is the one the most efficient approach because physical education is an academic discipline that is taught is schools and imparts students with critical and practical skills on how to be productive individuals. Just like a standard academic training, physical education should be subjected to thorough assessments and evaluations to meet national standards and also for students to participate fully. Also, the study course should be comprehensive in that it explores both theoretical and practical realms of the curriculum.

Another strategy is to appoint a school health coordinator and a council; the health director is tasked with Coordinating and managing all health programs, activities, policies, and resources. Health Council for the schools is composed of parents teachers, students, social service providers, healthcare givers, and administrators, civic and religious leaders (Johnson p.171). The health board provides support and guides the health coordinators and administrators in the school. The committee helps to institutionalize health programs in the school. For instance, American cancer society has collaborated with public health department of Iowa to formulate a guide to school health councils in North Carolina schools.


Obesity is the greatest socio-economic and public health challenge in the 21st century. Schools must play the lead role to reverse the pattern. Improving and promoting student physical and nutritional health is entirely consistent with goals of schools in transforming young people into productive citizens. However, resources and knowledge require transformative leadership to implement the policies and knowledge for the benefit of the citizens. Health is a common factor that needs the participation of multi-sectorial agencies.

Work Cited

Allison A. Hedley, Cynthia L. Ogden, Clifford L. Johnson, Margaret D. Carroll, Lester R. Curtin, and Katherine M. Flegal, “Prevalence of Over­weight and Obesity Among U.S. Children, Adolescents, and Adults, 2014,” Journal of the American Medical Association 291, no. 23 (2014): 267-285

Johnson Killow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013), "Guidelines for School Health Programs to Promote Lifelong Healthy Eating." :164-190

Cynthia L. Ogden, Margaret D. Carroll, and Clif­ford L. Johnson, "Prevalence and Trends in Overweight Among U.S. Chil­dren and Adolescents, 1999-2000," Journal of the American Medical Associa­tion 288, no. 14 (2012): 1728-1732.

John P. Allegrante, "School-Site Health Promotion for Staff," in Health Is Academic, eds. Eva Marx and Susan Fralick Wooley (New York: Teachers College Press, 2014)564-745

April 26, 2023




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Obesity Eating Habits Disease

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