America has a myriad of fast food restaurant chains. Many people frequent these joints to get their favorite meals. An example of a fast food meal is fries, burgers, and a soft drink. However, most of these food joints redefine the entire meaning of luxury meals. The meals affect people both physically and mentally. Students in school enjoy visiting fast food restaurants to get a quick meal before they go to school. Owing to that, there have been many speculations that fast foods have tremendous effects on academic skills. They have both harms and short lasting benefits of fast food on academic performance. The paper discusses both benefits and harms of fast food on academic skills.
The first harm is that it results in food addiction. The addiction causes loss of focus. Besides that, it causes cravings. When a student has cravings, they lose focus because all they think about is food. Kaur, Preet, Verma, & Kiran (p.47) articulate that junk foods have a negative effect on student's attention. The author indicates that the flavor present in the fast food is the one that causes addiction. As the author indicates, when students eat processed foods, they go into the bloodstream quickly and do not send a message to the student that the child should stop eating. Due to that, the student develops more cravings that make him or her lose focus. More so, the authors aver that the junk foods have about 325-600 calories, which creates energy in one's body, hyperactivity, and drowsiness that alternatively causes lack of focus. Besides that, Garber & Lustig (p.1) affirm that since most fast foods are accompanied by a soda, sugar addiction is rampant among students who consume it. More so, the author indicates that addiction is most common among vulnerable populations who mostly have a dependence on junk foods.
The second harm is that it might result in obesity, which affects mental health negatively. When a person is obese, they are likely to be lazy. Al Jazeera (p.1) reports that food deserts and processed foods in American schools cause students to become obese. Obesity damages a student's self-esteem. Moreover, Chizzali (p.1) speaks about the way food deserts results in obesity. As the author points out, food deserts lead to obesity because of malnutrition. Moreover, the author hypothesizes that students who live in food-deprived communities tend to experience lower cognitive skills that are often associated with lower grades because of the lack of necessary nutrients. Additionally, Anderson, Gallagher, & Ritchie (p.1) affirm that due to the high rate of obesity and unhealthy diets, student's cognitive function becomes impaired. In Chizzali (p.1) findings, the author reveals that areas, where food deserts are in plenty, have a high number of people without a high school diploma. Apparently, as the author implies, fast food and desserts, which lack adequate nutritional value affect the intellectual skills of school going children. Largely, without proper nutritional value, one is likely to become obese, and as the author asserts, it affects the cognitive skills.
One of its benefits is for the convenience. The convenience is associated with the student's tendency to buy fast food impulsively. Wales (p.1) affirms that around the globe, consumer demand for convenience has been an ongoing trend. The author asserts that using the example of fruits and vegetables, convenience is a barrier to achieving adequate nutrition. As she adds, the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recommends 400g of fruits and vegetables per day to prevent the emergence of chronic diseases such as micronutrient deficiencies, heart complications, diabetes, and cancer. Evidently, when people going to school opt for fast foods, chances are they forget to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diet. Through that, they risk the ailments mentioned above. If they contract the diseases mentioned earlier, chances are their academic skills will diminish because of the improper nutritional value in their diet. The impulse buying comes in when talking about effort in regards to convenience. As the author explains, effort is characterized as the mental and physical. When students purchase fast food for the convenience, they strain themselves mentally and physically as they have to go and pick the fast foods from their joints.
In summary, fast foods have both negative effects on academic skills. Depending on the inherent differences of a student's stages, it is notable that fast foods have detrimental effects on their performance. Teachers have to educate their students on practical nutritional information that will improve their academic performance. Due to the potential impacts of fast food on academic skills, health practitioners in various schools should encourage students to eat healthily and promote a positive diet among them. Besides that, parents and guardians at home should give their children healthy foods to avoid any health complications and improve their academic performance. Most importantly, there ought to be adequate awareness in schools on the adverse effects of fast foods on student learning. Overall, students should incorporate healthy foods into their diet to improve their academic skills.
Al Jazeera. Fast food, fat profits. 2010. Accessible at https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/faultlines/2010/11/2010111892118443641.html
Anderson, Michael., Ghallagher, Justin., & Ritchie, Elizabeth. School Lunch Quality and Academic Performance. The National Bureau of Economic Research. 2017. Accessible at http://www.nber.org/papers/w23218?sy=218
Chizzali, Lucas. Food Deserts and Educational Performance. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3747.6721 2016.
Garber, Andrea., & Lustig, Robert. Is Fast Food Addictive? Current Drug Abuse Reviews, 4(3):146-62. 2011.
Kaur, Rajneesh., Preet, Kaur., Verma.,& Kiran. Fast Food and Junk Food Culture, Nutritional
Status and Cognitive and Abnormal Behaviour among Teens. International Research Journal of Social Sciences, vol. 3(9), pp.46-49. 2014.
Wales Mary-Ellen. Understanding the role of convenience in consumer food choices: a review article. SURG Journal, vol. 2, no. 2. 2009.
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