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