It’s important to address the issue of junk food in schools, whether from vending machines or school cafeterias, to help combat the rising rates of chronic disease and obesity seen in young children. Poor nutrition makes it difficult for a student to learn, retain information and stay focused. With junk food removed from schools, higher quality, nutritious items can be sold instead to encourage kids to choose healthier, nutrient-dense items. Fresh, whole foods would provide kids with essential nutrients to support their growth needs and health as they continue to learn and become inspired through their education. When kids have prominent access to vending machines selling low-quality, poor-nutrient foods, they are more likely to buy these snacks and/or sugary beverages. Research shows that children were more likely to buy high fat, sodium, or sugary snacks from the vending machine rather than a school lunch. If these vending machines were removed from schools or stocked with healthy, nutritious items, this may result in the students choosing healthier snacks or beverages. Julie Usdavin Stratfordvia Nutrition key to student performance – Connecticut Post.
Most of the concern around the eating habits of school children has focused on the potential health issues of obesity, diabetes and other poor health outcomes later in life. These are real concerns, of course, but another effect of poor nutrition is substandard performance in school. In the article linked below, a registered dietitian discusses the relationship of healthy food options with students grades and overall educational success.