The Instigator
Switzerland
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
freedomsquared
Pro (for)
Winning
28 Points

Junk food in school

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/22/2011 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 9,410 times Debate No: 17613
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (5)

 

Switzerland

Con

Though it's a far, desperate reach to get rid of junk food availability for children outside parental supervision I believe it's imperative that we try. It's said junk food/processed food has common neurobiological effects on the brain as a hard drug like heroin or cocaine would have, making you feel you need it when you don't. With that being said is it not immoral to provide an addiction that young minds couldn't understand or overcome untill later age or maybe never? I think the young generation of our time is going down a bad path. Unhealthy tendencies are being embeded at early ages, causing more childhood desease than ever before. Food is convenient, but at what cost? Do we wake up and choose what's right for the future of our children and their world, despite probable complaint or do we continue this reliance on convenience and comfort?
freedomsquared

Pro

Firstly, I would like to thank my opponent for starting this debate and wish him luck. Secondly, I would like to offer some definitions:

Junk food- food that is high in calories but low in nutritional content [1]
Nutrients- defined by six classes which are water, proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and minerals [2]
Addictive- To cause to become physiologically or psychologically dependent on a habit-forming substance [3]

I will now break down my opponent’s argument into its basic components:

<<Though it's a far, desperate reach to get rid of junk food availability for children outside parental supervision I believe it's imperative that we try.>>

Right off the bat, my opponent admits that attempting to rid junk food from the diets of children is a “far [and] desperate reach”. If there is already no hope of achieving a goal, then what is the point of attempting it? If we blacklist junk food it won’t go away, it will only join the ranks of other banned materials in schools such as drugs. The main difference being that junk food will be much more widespread due to the fact that most people have no moral or ethical problem with junk food like they do with drugs.

<< It's said junk food/processed food has common neurobiological effects on the brain as a hard drug like heroin or cocaine would have, making you feel you need it when you don't.>>

To make this perfectly clear, my opponent has just put junk food on the same plane as hardcore drugs. This is not a difference in degrees of addiction, this is the difference between a material used for recreational pleasure (despite the dangers inherent in using cocaine or heroin) and one that is a necessity of life, food. People are responsible for what they eat, not the government. It is fallacious to compare the directly harmful effects of a drug that causes a psychological dependency to a small snack or sweet treat.

<<With that being said is it not immoral to provide an addiction that young minds couldn't understand or overcome untill later age or maybe never? I think the young generation of our time is going down a bad path. Unhealthy tendencies are being embeded at early ages, causing more childhood desease than ever before. Food is convenient, but at what cost? Do we wake up and choose what's right for the future of our children and their world, despite probable complaint or do we continue this reliance on convenience and comfort?> >

His argument claims that letting children eat junk food is immoral due to the addiction it causes. As such, I must show that junk food is not addictive and that choice is always involved. Secondly, I must establish that regardless of the qualities of junk food, it is not the place of the government to ban it.

Response:

Think carefully for a moment about the last meal you ate. Now, before eating it, what was going through your head? For most of us, we would’ve started out with a feeling of hunger that we wanted to satisfy. Next comes the choice of what to eat. At this moment, how many of you feel an overwhelming psychological desire to eat something salty or sweet? The fact of the matter is that your body is after calories but it is still up to you to choose what provides those calories. Augmentation of obesity levels in America can be attributed to the changing (more sedentary) habits of Americans, increased snacking between meals, and the larger overall amount of food being consumed by Americans (not the quality of food being ingested)[4].

The question at hand here is a matter of choice: do children have a right to it, do children actually have it when it comes to junk food, and if none of the above, do parents have a right to decide what children eat?

Do children have a right to choose what they eat?

To a certain extent, yes, children do have a right to choose what they put inside of them. No one can force them at gunpoint to ingest healthy food. However, in our current society, it is commonly accepted that parents (being the ones who will pay for and thus provide the food) have the right to decide what their children eat. If the children earn their own money then that’s a different story. The money that child earned would be his property and thus he could use it as he wills, whether that be for books or for candy.

Do children still have a choice when it comes to junk food?

What I mean by this is: do children have the ability to choose between junk food and something else like celery? The answer to that question is yes, children can always choose one from the other. While it is true that they more often than not will choose the food that tastes better (generally junk food but not always), it is the responsibility of their parents to teach them the benefits of moderation and a healthy diet. It is not the responsibility of the government to enforce the diet of children against both their will and the will of their parents.

Do parents have the right to decide what children eat?

As mentioned before, parents have a right to decide as long as they are the ones providing the means of obtaining the food. However, ask yourself, do the parents of your friend have the right to decide what you eat even if your parents are still paying for it? Quite simply, no, and that is what my opponent is essentially proposing. The government is forcibly taking our parents money through taxes, and then (if my opponent has his way) will use that money to buy the food that they deem worthy for children. In effect, the people who support this kind of law are supporting the control of how other people want to raise their children. If a parent doesn’t want his child to eat junk food, that’s fine, he just shouldn’t force everyone else to fit into his ideology.

::CONCLUSION::
What you eat is a matter of choice that cannot be taken away. If you are the one that’s paying for the food, then no one else should be able to tell you what that food has to be. As already pointed out, junk food is not addictive, and so people will always have a choice in what they eat. People who fear obesity can make their own choices to eat healthier food or to become more active, it is not the place of the government to control anyone’s, including children’s, lifestyle choices.


[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[4] http://dietsnutrition.allinfoabout.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Switzerland

Con

Switzerland forfeited this round.
freedomsquared

Pro

As my opponent has forfeited this round, it would be unfit of me to post new arguments. I hope that he will return to post an argument for the final round.
Debate Round No. 2
Switzerland

Con

Switzerland forfeited this round.
freedomsquared

Pro

It is unfortunate that my opponent could not do this debate. As he has forfeited all but the first round, I argue that you vote PRO on this resolution.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by freedomsquared 5 years ago
freedomsquared
For the record, I will not be able to post an argument again until Monday, as I will be gone this weekend.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
SwitzerlandfreedomsquaredTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro wins argument because Con provided no counter-arguments. Pro wins sources because they helped make his/her winning argument, plus Con never provided any. Conduct goes to Pro for Con's round forfeits.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
SwitzerlandfreedomsquaredTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by thejudgeisgod 5 years ago
thejudgeisgod
SwitzerlandfreedomsquaredTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
SwitzerlandfreedomsquaredTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro won through forfeit.
Vote Placed by mongeese 5 years ago
mongeese
SwitzerlandfreedomsquaredTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Obvious vote is obvious.