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Our Future?

May 18, 2012

via Yahoo! News Canada

An interesting and controversial YouTube video from two grade 12 students in Ontario concerning junk food in schools:

Well, this is a very unique perspective.  With all the fight for more healthy conscience choices in the cafeteria of schools, the argument is for junk food to be reinstated into schools?  Hmm… interesting take and one worth contemplating.

Here are the facts for physical activity in the province of Ontario (via PHE Canada):

Allocated Physical Education Time

  • Kindergarten – Grade 8: 150 minutes/week
  • Grade 9-12: 1 credit required in high school for graduation, this credit can be taken in any grade

Daily Physical Activity

  • Grade 1-8: minimum of 20 minutes/week of sustained moderate to vigorous physical activity each school day during instructional time

Personally, despite the current student protests occurring in Quebec over tuition hikes, I am very much impressed by Quebec’s mandatory policy for physical education up to CEGEP and if it were up to me, this would be further stretched to include University, just like the good old days.

Nonetheless, this video has created quite the stir and in fact, the students were invited by the education minister for a meeting on Thursday, May 17th.

What are your thoughts on the matter?  Is it a good idea to bring back junk food in schools or have students proven that they lack the willpower to choose healthier alternatives?  Does it all really start at home?

Please note: “Junk food is also either banned or in the process of being banned in all schools in British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.”

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3 Comments
  1. Interesting viewpoint shown in that video. I believe that student’s should have choices over what they buy and the food available at a school canteen should be balanced. There should be good, healthy options that taste good AND are affordable. However the marketing of the “bad” foods should be minimized to the labels on the products only; no posters etc. As shown in the video if there are no foods available that students like or can afford then they will go somewhere else.

    In my opinion there is not enough focus on physical education and community sports.

  2. I like the idea that the affordable healthy food be placed beside the less healthy choices. Education is the key, not eliminating choices. it’s like offering abstinence as the only sexual choice for youth…instead of teaching them positive decision making and important health and risk/prevention information.
    Thanks for this post. It made me think.

  3. Thank you both for providing great insight into the issue. Considering a lot of cafeterias are moving towards getting rid of the junk food, it is definitely interesting to see the counter-argument to this phenomenon.

    elketeaches, you hit an important element when mentioning that healthy options should be “affordable”. Most of the time, junk food costs less and rationally, is the smarter choice economically. Moreover, as you already mentioned, taste is equally important and sometimes it is hard to trump the taste of sugar-filled junk food. Furthermore, I agree that the marketing of junk food should be minimized and there should be more information on the healthy alternatives. Overall, eliminating certain foods in the cafeteria will not stop them from getting it, especially in the older grades where they will simply purchase it from a local store. And that’s only what we see; we don’t have a clue what kind of foods they eat at home.

    marcilaevens, I also enjoyed the idea of pairing up junk food with healthy alternatives so perhaps students would be forced to make a more informed choice on what they want to put in their body. Additionally, I rather enjoyed your simile/comparison – we are not here to oppress, rather we’re here to encourage open-mindedness and to give the power to the students to make “the right choice”.

    Glad you two enjoyed the post – gets you thinking! Once more, thank you for the great discussion!

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