Cafeteria food: The downsides to it

US school lunch needs to be improved for the well-being of students


Lily Gibson, Staffer

In 2012, the U.S government updated the school lunch and breakfast program,  the changes they made included making fruits and vegetables count as a different food group. However, these changes still are not making lunch more healthy and available to students. 

Schools should provide more healthy and different varieties of food for their students. Every day students have the same options; pizza, chicken sandwiches, burgers, burritos, and others, all of which are processed and unhealthy. Processed foods, according to the Health and Safety Fund of North America, can lead to “serious health issues, like obesity and heart disease,”. Although the school does make you get a side of fruits or vegetables, they are just considered a side, not the actual meal itself. 

Schools also do not provide students with many healthy options. As mentioned the school serves pizza and other foods daily, but realistically most students decide to have pizza. When asked why students prefer to eat pizza every day, a student said “Because it’s the only good thing,”. Many students are eating pizza every single day which can affect work and productivity. According to a 2021 Journal of Applied Psychology Study, “Unhealthy eating choices result in less productivity” which can affect students’ work in school and outside of it. Students also want to have more than just a few options. “I think they should have other options instead of just hamburgers and pizza,” said freshman Cassie Guerra. 

Also, snacks such as Rice Krispies, Doritos, and even cookies are sold to students in Smoky Hill Highschool and other schools. Most people know that snacks like that contain artificial ingredients and are very unhealthy and processed. Students buy this almost every day, as it adds to their lunch making it more unhealthy. Although it’s not given out as part of students’ lunch and students have to have money to buy it, students already have the money to buy their lunch so they usually also buy snacks with the money they already have. 

Schools should provide varieties of healthy and whole foods. That includes stopping serving pizza as often, including other daily options. If we were to do this students would be able to perform better in school and in sports and would live a healthier lifestyle.