Sample Sociology Paper on The Need for Changing Regulations on School Lunches

Promoting a Healthy Future Generation by Changing Regulations on School Lunches

The health of the future generation is threatened and some interventions need to be made if this group of people is to be saved. A healthy mind is born out of a healthy body and this is achieved through a diet rich in all the necessary nutrients. This is a sure way of averting child obesity, which is a rampant phenomenon in the current school system. The obvious culprit is the school lunch which research shows is wanting nutritionally and coupled with little or no physical activity results in the epidemic. It is important to note that this childhood obesity usually leads to adult obesity with its numerous risks of heart disease, diabetes and cancers that put the future generation at near extinction. There is therefore, a need to review the regulations that govern the nutritional content of school lunches to ensure that all the nutrients needed for the healthy development of a child are included (Tran et al., 2014).

In the past, there have been some changes made to the school meals regulations that included a healthy diet and this resulted in healthier children who are able to perform better in their academics. While this was done in some schools and only in some districts, there is a growing need to cover more schools and extend this change to include a greater region of the state if not the entire nation. Additionally, it is noted that children in schools where the regulations were altered to include healthier lunch options, the general wellbeing of the children was improved and there were fewer to no incidents of common ailments and diseases (Fung et al., 2012).

With such notable observations, it is therefore important to overcome some problems that might hinder the development of such policy regulation for the sake of seeing a better and healthier generation, now and in the future. Problems such as a rigid government policy on what should be served in school lunches need to be addressed so that the benefits outweigh the cost of implementing such policy. Another impediment to this restructuring may be attitudes of the students to the realities of healthy eating and the only way to counteract this is by raising awareness and highlighting the benefits to all involved. There is also the issue of parents working together with the all the other stakeholders in their capacity as major players in ensuring the success of this intervention (Tran et al., 2014).

The Big Issues

The first problem that must be addressed is the rigidity of government and school management board policy in changing the norm to accommodate a program that is beneficial to the children and to the nation as a whole. The bureaucracy must be overcome and especially the time it takes for a policy to be implemented. There is need to act in haste to ensure that in the next school year, healthy lunches are being offered to the children. It would be important for the school administration to consider that, school ratings will be higher when children are healthier and perform better. Additionally, great savings on the state budget can be achieved since there will be a greater reduction in illnesses, which can put a strain on the health sector budget (Fung et al., 2012).

It is also worth noting that a healthier young generation will be more productive and this will grow the nation’s gross domestic product. This growth improves the nation’s ranking, the per capita income and ultimately the standard of living while lowering the cost of living. Therefore, the benefits of implementing healthier school lunches far outweighs the cost and in the long run is a great saving for the government and a boost to the economy. The life expectancy of the population is also increased, another boost for the government and especially that the productive age group is preserved (Hart, 2014).

The students also present a problem in the implementation of this intervention in that they have their own idea on what is healthy eating, which in most cases is not the right thing. This young generation is given to cravings and mostly peer pressure informs their sometimes unwise decisions, even on what to eat. There is a possibility that if they are not adequately informed about the dangers of eating nutritionally unsound food and the benefits of healthier school lunch options, they will boycott the change and the intervention will flop. This is also an age group that is highly opinionated and they mainly operate in a mob which can be disastrous to the program if they decide against going the healthy way. Then there is a great need to ensure that the necessary beneficial information is passed on to them so that they understand why the change is unavoidable (Fung et al., 2012).

Furthermore, there are children who due to unavoidable circumstances do not enjoy a proper meal in the home and in some cases, meal times are not supervised so they get to eat whatever, whenever. Offering a healthy option at school can save such children from malnutrition and other eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia, which are rampant among teenage girls and are the flip side to childhood obesity. It is also a way of ensuring they stay healthy and productive through to their adult lives (Fung et al., 2012).

Parents may present the next set of problems in this intervention in that they need to understand that they hold the key to healthy school lunches for their children. The parent must realize that they have to offer a healthy diet at home that will be supplemented with the one at the school. They play a major role in ensuring that their children maintain a positive attitude towards healthy eating. If a nutritious diet is not offered at home, it becomes an uphill task to implement it at school and so parents need to take up their role as the key players in this issue. There are also financial constraints that face parents in the home and they may feel that it is too much to ask. What they must acknowledge is that it translates into a major saving in the long run and medical bills are sure to drop as a healthy lifestyle is perpetuated at home and school (Tran et al., 2014).

These are major factors to consider for the success of the implementation of healthy school lunches. The three major stakeholders being the government and school management authorities and their policy, the children themselves and the parents who are very key. All these must acknowledge that it is an investment into the future that will undeniably improve lives and put the nation at a vantage point when fully implemented. It may seem like a daunting task at the onset but as more understanding comes there is a great possibility that this intervention will succeed with tremendous results (Hart, 2014).

References

Fung, C., Kuhle, S., Lu, C., Purcell, M., Schwartz, M., Storey, K., & Veugelers, P. J. (2012). From “best practice” to “next practice”: the effectiveness of school-based health promotion in improving healthy eating and physical activity and preventing childhood obesity. International Journal Of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity, 9(1), 27-35. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-27

Hart, Caroline. (2014). Workforce education key to healthy eating in schools. Education Journal, (199), 6.

Tran, B. X., Ohinmaa, A., Kuhle, S., Johnson, J. A., & Veugelers, P. J. (2014). Life Course Impact of School-Based Promotion of Healthy Eating and Active Living to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Plos ONE, 9(7), 1-8. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102242