The Instigator
Parisien
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Francie123
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points

Banning Junk Food

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Francie123
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 705 times Debate No: 87327
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)

 

Parisien

Con

Short debate on if we should ban junk food in schools.

1. Accept

2. Argue

3. Rebut/ Defend

Definitions

1. Junk food: Food such as gum, candy, hamburgers, anything that is unhealthy

2. School: A place of education.
Francie123

Pro

I'm happy to accept, but I would like to slightly dispute your definitions:

I wouldn't call gum unhealthy.

I would narrow down school to state provided education for 3-19 year olds. A university is a place of education, but it's for adults, whom the state can't control. You could also argue that a home is a place of education for home-school educated kids, but you can't ban junk food in people's homes. As for the state school part, at least in Britain private schools and special needs schools have huge leeway about what they teach and how they teach it. (I'm assuming here that we're talking of a statewide or a nationwide ban, not a ban put in place by the schools individually, though I'd be happy to debate that as well.)

Aside from that, it sounds like a really good debate, and I look forward to it.
Debate Round No. 1
Parisien

Con

Parisien forfeited this round.
Francie123

Pro

Worldwide, obesity in children has tripled over the last 20 years. In America, 18% of 6-11 year old kids are obese, and 21% of 12-19 year olds. The effects of obesity range from low self-esteem, bully and low mobility to the terrors of diabetes and heart problems. Obesity makes the childhoods of these kids a struggle and their future blighted by health problems. It is not a low-priority problem, some kind of comic jest, full of the irony of trying to slim down the 'fat kids' whilst trying to feed the third world. It is not even remotely funny. Furthermore, this is not a problem that parents, whether they are responsible or not for their children's' behaviour, have proved able to tackle. A ban on unhealthy foods in schools is only part of the solution, but it is simple and largely easy to enforce, and it shows huge potential.

In Britain at least, foods with more than 5g of saturated fats, 17.5 of total fats, or 22.5g of sugars per 100g are considered to be 'red' foods. Any foods that broke these boundaries would not be permitted in schools. Since all food products in the UK must provide nutritional information per 100g, and the vast majority have clear green, yellow and red colour coding, there could be no argument about whether a food brought into school was banned or not. These foods are often ones that we take for granted, think little of, or don't realise how regularly we are eating. A mindset in which such foods are treated as everyday items is a terrible and dangerous inheritance.

Banning unhealthy foods would be a process of two parts. Firstly, on school dinners, which would easy enough to force. Such a ban would vastly broaden children's horizons, showing them that you can eat mildly interesting, cheap, healthy food for every lunch and you will not collapse from a lack of sugars. It is absolutely and utterly key to long term health that children become used to eating healthy foods. Flavoured rice, chicken breast, veggies, pasta and Quorn are all healthy and realistic alternatives to pizza, pudding, cheese burgers and chips. And for anyone who has died of shock at the mention of the word 'Quorn', it has far less saturated fats than beef burgers, and as every vegetarian knows, is actually ruddy amazing.

Secondly, children would not be allowed to bring unhealthy foods into school. Of course they will break this rule. Schoolchildren also roll up their skirts, swear at each other, pass notes and snog behind the sports shed. School rules aren't in place for the universal acceptance and joy of children, but to hugely reduce both the rate at which an activity is undertaken, and the implicit approval of the school and state. Ultimately, a 6 year old child isn't old enough to even evaluate the pros and cons of eating foods that could cause health problems in 20 years, whilst even 12 year olds and older lack impulse control and judgement. The area of the brain that assesses risk doesn't finish developing until the mid twenties, and children in their teens are deeply susceptible to following the social norm, rather than evaluating choices independently and sticking to them. To show children that they can have healthy snacks, but not chocolate and crisps, is essential to teaching them good norms.

Our brains are programmed from the caveman days, when food was scarce and liable to become rotten exceedingly quickly. This has been recognised as the source of our problems resisting unhealthy foods for many years now, and has to be combated in an age where sugary and fatty foods abound. Studies have shown that we are more likely to eat unhealthy food when it is freely available, such as biscuits left on the counter, and less likely if it is even slightly inaccessible, such as on a high shelf. When unhealthy foods are unavailable, we crave them less and think of them less. We need to encourage our children to see unhealthy foods as treats not snacks, and additions to not staples of their diet. Banning unhealthy foods may seem harsh and radical. But the crisis we are facing of child obesity is one in which complacency is utterly unacceptable.
Debate Round No. 2
Parisien

Con

Parisien forfeited this round.
Francie123

Pro

Sadly, Parisien's account is no longer active, so we'll just have to accept that and move on.

There is one common counter argument that I would like to mention, and rebut, which is the argument of free will. Constantly brought up is the idea that parents have a right to give their children the food they want, at the cost they want, at the times they want. But on the grounds of a school, with so many other rules in place - for example, that school children may not run across the courtyard - this seems indefensible. Bans and rules are a daily part of life. This would merely be a ban instituted for the health of a generation of children.

Many thanks, and please do take the time to vote.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Quadrunner 1 year ago
Quadrunner
Disappointing when the instigator can't take the time for his own debate.
Posted by TheShaun 1 year ago
TheShaun
@OreosAreCool "So by saying that arguing opinions is a waste of time, you're saying that the majority of the politics debate section is a waste of time." I'll agree with that. If they aren't in any position of power over the situation in question, then debating it has no constructive value. Their debate has no effect on the situation. They are basically just trying to beat their own opinion into other people's heads.
Posted by OreosAreCool 1 year ago
OreosAreCool
Definition of the word Opinion: "a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty." (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

There is a difference between debating what DOES happen, and what SHOULD happen. In science, the debates are always about what DOES happen (which is what I assume you mean by 'debating facts'). There is evidence that is gathered and observed to come to some sort of conclusion in terms of what happens.

In policy debates, there is not much physical and observable evidence that leads to one specific conclusion, other than history. Even then, there are so many different interpretations of the results of historical events that debates are necessary to compare the validity of those interpretations when put under criticism by opponents.

Politics is the largest debate category on this site, and many of the debate topics are: "The government should do [something]..." So by saying that arguing opinions is a waste of time, you're saying that the majority of the politics debate section is a waste of time.
Posted by TheShaun 1 year ago
TheShaun
@OreosAreCool "You cannot debate a FACT". Tell that to all the people that do debate a fact because they don't possess the information that proves it a fact.

"You seem to be so much against wasting time, but here you are making these comments on several peoples' debate topics." I find correcting people entertaining. Entertainment is not a waste of time to me.
Posted by OreosAreCool 1 year ago
OreosAreCool
Shaun, by your logic, people should be arguing things like "do we need water?" The statement that we need water is a TRUISM, it's not debatable. You cannot debate a FACT, as that debate would be highly one-sided.

You seem to be so much against wasting time, but here you are making these comments on several peoples' debate topics.
Posted by TheShaun 1 year ago
TheShaun
@OreosAreCool Arguing about opinions is foolish. I'll refrain from insulting people when they stop doing or arguing about foolish things. You're just as foolish for thinking there's nothing wrong with arguing about OPINIONS. Opinions are not fact or fiction, they have no right or wrong. It's foolish and a waste of time to argue about things that have no right or wrong answer. Grow up.
Posted by OreosAreCool 1 year ago
OreosAreCool
Shaun, do you even know what a debate is? Stop insulting people, there's nothing wrong with his debate topic. He's proposing an idea, and someone else with a different opinion will argue against it. That's a debate.
Posted by TheShaun 1 year ago
TheShaun
how about you mind your own business. unless you are in the same school, its none of your business. stop trying to argue opinions, moron
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
ParisienFrancie123Tied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.