School machines hurting our children
One of the most important responsibilities we have as parents is to help our children stay healthy. We’ll do our best while you’re home. We pack them a packed lunch or send them to school with lunch money and hope for the best. But kids don’t always follow their parents’ advice when they’re away from home. When children are in school, their primary responsibility is to learn, and schools have a responsibility to create an environment conducive to learning. So why are so many parents and school administrators effectively poisoning children and sabotaging their ability to learn? That’s exactly what school machines do.
#1 Sugar Rush, Sugar Crash
We’ve all heard these terms before, but what do they mean? You may hear the term “sugar rush” and compare it to a feeling of euphoria or a feeling of increased energy. What actually happens when you eat (or drink) sugar is that your bloodstream becomes flooded with glucose and insulin tries to convert that extra energy into fat stores. Any energy boost you may have associated with ingesting sugar is short-lived and is quickly followed by the “sugar crash.” Headaches, sluggishness and even dizziness are common symptoms of the accident. When your body absorbs all of the glucose from your sugary snack and insulin is produced, it triggers these reactions and, in a word, makes you feel lousy.
As you can imagine, consuming sugar in school can have devastating effects on a child’s ability to learn. Everyone reacts differently to sugar, but children tend to be more sensitive to sugar than adults. In fact, studies have shown that children’s adrenaline levels are 10 times higher than normal for up to five hours after a test dose of sugar. Children’s ability to learn deteriorates in direct proportion to the amount of sugar they consume.
Teachers are, or should be, on board removing school vending machines that are feeding our kids trash. A school ban on sugar had dramatic consequences. as dr Yvonne Sanders-Butler, the principal at Browns Mill Elementary School in Lithonia, Georgia, has implemented a school-wide sugar ban. We had a 23 percent drop in discipline references. The teachers were able to do their job of teaching the students.” I’d say that’s a glowing recommendation for getting sugar out of the schools.
#2 Offer artificial foods
Many of the foods marketed to children use bright colors and fun shapes to attract their attention. Unfortunately, most food manufacturers use artificial food colors even when natural colors are available because they are cheaper. In fact, the UK uses natural food colorings like pumpkin and carrot extract to color orange soda and real strawberries in McDonald’s strawberry cups. In the US, the same products are made with artificial colors. These chemical dyes have been shown to increase hyperactivity in children, which can cause real problems in schools as children are unable to sit still and concentrate in the classroom. Artificial food colors are only a problem with processed foods. How are real foods processed into their packaged form? With chemicals. The more chemicals you ingest, the worse your health is. Staying away from processed foods is a smart way to limit the number of toxins you eat.
A good rule of thumb is that if you can pronounce all of the ingredients in a food product (and there are no numbers), it’s probably okay to eat. There are over 4,000 artificial additives in junk food, many of which have been poorly tested and not tested in combination. We are essentially guinea pigs who will eat whatever junk is thrown at us. Here are just a few of those toxins that you should avoid like the plague.
– Aspartame: Easily said, but it is essentially a poison. It’s a sweetener in most diet sodas and has been linked to brain tumors and memory loss. Some have reported that its effects are similar to formaldehyde poisoning.
– Sacharin: In 1977, the FDA recommended a ban on this sweetener after laboratory rats and mice developed bladder and other forms of cancer. The government’s response to the FDA’s recommendation was a warning notice. In 1997 the food industry pressured the World Health Organization to remove saccharin from its list of carcinogenic chemicals, hence no more warnings.
– Tartrazine: This yellow coloring is a coal tar derivative used in many candies. The FDA has been asked to ban it from all foods, and schools that have banned foods containing this chemical have noticed a big difference in children’s behavior.
– Red Dye #3: This dye was actually banned in 1983 after studies showed thyroid tumors in laboratory rats, but the ruling was overturned by the government and this chemical is still used in high-fat, low-moisture foods like icing.
#3 Help form bad habits
The problem with sugary snacks and sodas is that once a child starts eating and drinking them, they become addicted. Kids get used to the sugar rush and forget how awful they feel during the crash. Children don’t process sugar the way adults do, and addiction to sugar can develop fairly quickly. Sugar addiction can lead to allergies, lethargy, headaches and high blood pressure. The habits they learn as children will carry them into adolescence and into adulthood. Fat, unhealthy kids grow into fat, unhealthy adults…who in turn raise fat, unhealthy kids. Breaking the cycle now will impact this generation and generations to come.
Much research has been done on how best to correct a bad habit. And that’s exactly what school vending machines offer – bad food that encourages children’s bad habits. It doesn’t take a ton of psychological analysis to tell you that a child eats the best tasting food available to him or her. One of the most important parts of breaking a bad habit is finding an alternative behavior. If your child indulges in greasy potato chips, simply remove the potato chips from around the house and replace them with a healthy, tasty alternative like banana chips. Likewise, children in schools are quick to break their bad habit of eating junk food when junk food is not available. Removed school machines and/or replacing them with healthy vending machines that offer organic, low-sugar, unprocessed food and drink will put children on the path to developing good habits and becoming successful students.