Thank you for accepting my debate. I do not expect to win against such an experienced person like you, especially in my first legit debate, but I will definitely give my best in trying to prove my point.
I am new to this, so please excuse any errors that I may make during this.
We decide what we want to eat. It is simply ones right to choose what they want to put into their body. If someone chooses to eat unhealthy, that is their choice and the government should not be able to intervene with our choices of food. The government should not have the right to take your freedom of choice from you. Everyone in the USA has free will. And as long as that free will is not harming or preventing another human being from doing something, they can do as they please.
i.e: Someone decides to swing their arms in the air. They have every right to do that, and that is their choice. But as soon as that person hits another person with their arms, they can no longer do this. Their choice of free will has been eliminated in that situation.
So what I am getting at, is that eating bad food, does not physically harm or prevent anyone from doing something in any way, shape, or form. It only harms the individual who chooses to eat poorly. So it is our personal right to be able to eat what we please. The government cannot try to take this away from us.
Putting healthy, whole grain, fat free items in vending machines does not help the process of curing obesity. It simply delays it. If a person is overweight or obese, they will most likely not be affected whatsoever by eating one "healthy" meal a day. Which, keep in mind, still has qualities of food that is not good for you. Whole grain or not, the food you are eating is still not a good choice. If someone who is obese eats one of these meals every day, and still goes home and continues bad eating habits, the school lunch has effectively done nothing except slightly delay an inevitable result. Also, if someone gets very upset over the lunch choices, they can easily pack their own lunch with even more unhealthy food. Thus, making the problem worse. In order to not be obese, there is much more needed than eating a somewhat healthy lunch. One needs to work out and be active everyday to get results. Losing weight simply by food will take too long and be very expensive, and hard to stick with. Which, will bring me into my next set of arguments.
The problem with nutritional food is that it is quite expensive. Which is why school lunches should not be changed, because the schools are already not getting a whole lot of money. It is too hard to try and feed all the kids in a school with such a low budget. Also, being poor and being overweight have a direct correlation with one another. If a student eats the healthy school lunch, and then goes home and cannot continue to keep up a good diet because of money issues, the school lunch does not solve anything nor help anything. Once again, it only very slightly delays what is inevitable. It is like giving a man in the desert a small glass of water before he goes out and travels in that heat again. In reality, that water has done nothing except very slightly delay the traveling mans death. With kids, that healthy lunch as done nothing except delay the process very minimally of getting overweight and continuing being obese. To solve obesity, it will take many more steps. The school lunches may be a tiny step forward, but not even close to enough to solving anything. All this does is anger people in the school and reduce the presidents popularity.
For the next round, I ask my opponent to start with their rebuttals. Then, open their argument.
Per my opponents request, I will start with rebuttals and then present my own arguments.
My opponent will notice the titles I've given to his arguments, I hope he finds them accurate as I personally believe they cover the jist of his arguments perfectly.
I. Government shouldn't impede on free will and choice.
My opponent begins by stating that the government should not have the right to take your freedom of choice from you, and I will now show why this argument is moot and irrelevant at this point. I want to now direct everyone to please take a look at the link I've provided: http://www.washingtonpost.com...
The link shows that the "House panel voted to allow school districts to temporarily opt out of dietary rules". What this means is that the government isn't actually impeding on anything, in fact, schools which were part of this initial health plan led by Michelle Obama are now free to drop the new standards and continue their old ways of practice.
What we can clearly see is that "The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a companion spending bill that does not permit waivers. It authorizes delays in some food rules and the study of others."
Clearly there are no rights being impeded on since this new bill was approved. Perhaps if my opponent presented this argument before the bill was passed, then this point would be valid. But as it stands now, this bill literally lifts the burden from me to show how they aren't impeding our rights, and now places it on my opponent to show how they are infact impeding these rights even AFTER this latest bill was put into effect.
As far as modern developments in this situation though, it is clear that schools now have the freedom to opt out of these new standards. Thus, this argument from my opponent stands defeated. If he wishes to continue this line of argumentation, he will need to prove beyond any doubt that our freedoms are still being challenged even after the bill allowing schools to opt out was passed and placed into effect.
II. Health foods don't cure obesity, just delays it.
This is completely untrue. My opponent needs to prove this beyond any doubt. Otherwise, this opinion is nothing more than just that - an opinion. Facts require justification, and if my opponent is going to stick with this line of argumentation then it is fully required of him to prove that nutritional foods have never cured obesity. I can share countless cases where obese individuals have shed their weight by eating nutritionally. At this point, there is no need to do so though because my opponents claim has lacked any and all justification. So, before I share any cases which prove the non-truth of his claim, I will give him the chance to prove his opinion as fact in the next round. If he cannot do so, which I believe is the case, this point is also defeated.
III. Health foods are expensive.
My opponent raises two points:
A) Schools can't afford the changes in price due to low budgets.
What my opponent fails to realize is that school lunches through government programs are funded by the government. This is due to the government being the ones that pay for the schools in the first place. Public schools are paid for by the state and local government through taxation. http://www.ushistory.org...
So, ultimately, this point is moot due to the fact that schools affording or not affording these lunches aren't even an issue in reality. My opponent merely misunderstanding how public school food programs actually work in regards to funding.
B) Poor kids can't afford the increased price of meals.
Part of the child nutrition bill states that they aim of charging an average of $2.46 for the lunches they serve. http://www.nytimes.com...
This is important to note because this argument really calls for us to look at the numbers and include information that my opponent left out. That key information is that: "Under the roughly $10 billion program, families with incomes up to 130 percent of the poverty level - $28,665 a year for a family of four - are eligible for free meals. Those that earn 130 percent to 185 percent of poverty level, or $40,793 for a family of four, qualify for reduced-price meals."
So why is this important? First, it's the fact that schools are going beyond the general poverty levels in regards to allowing poor kids access to free meals (meaning kids that weren't considered poor enough before are now allowed to enroll in these free meal programs). This is completely beneficial to those who might not have been able to afford the cost of lunches even though they were also considered too wealthy to enroll in the program. Basically, this helps everyone who was stuck in the "gray area" between being poor yet not poor enough to enroll. Lastly, because the article goes on to say that: "The federal government reimburses districts $2.72 for free meals, and $2.32 for reduced-price meals."
So, not only are these schools having the cost covered by the local and state governments, but now the federal government is actually reimbursing these schools almost more than they are actually charging which on average is aimed to be $2.46. In essence, these schools are completely covering the costs for a larger range of poor students than ever before, and even making a profit which can go towards other beneficial projects for bettering the student's development into healthy adults.
Unless my opponent can show how this is not beneficial, his line of argumentation stands defeated.
IV. The world-view of us as the fattest nation.
It's not uncommon knowledge that America is one of the fattest nations in the world. Just take a look at the two links I've shared below:
There is a dire situation that has been facing our nation as a whole for several years now, that of obesity. When the overweight or obesity index is at 68.5% of our total population - something drastic needs to be done. If my opponent truly desires for me to share the health risks that come with obesity, and get into the morality of not alleviating the health burdens that are currently overcoming a majority of our population, I will. But I think it fair to assume that my opponent is already aware of the horrendous risks, suffering, and persecution that obese people face. The correlation between obesity and depression alone is scary enough to desire a change in how we are managing this current epidemic.
VI. It's actually working.
Here's another important point that my opponent fails to present to the audience, the fact that it is actually working! Please take a look at the link I've shared below:
The title alone, "Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43% in a Decade" is enough to spark hope for our incoming generations in light of this current epidemic. I fear my opponent has made the grave mistake of assuming the short-term struggle outweighs the long-term benefits. This is never the case for those who are wise. What we can clearly see from the article I've shared is that the real goal is to shift the way we approach food. To build within our youth the principles of healthy food choices and the benefits that can come from such choices. The negative consequences of poor food choices are immediately taken out of the paradigm of reality when our incoming generations are built upon healthy principles.
Does my opponent really deny these beneficial outcomes? Does my opponent deny the fact that our future depends solely on our children and how we raise them? With these results in mind, I move to discuss those who are not young enough to innately inherit healthy food practices.
VII. There is always initial resistance to change.
The key thing to remember is that the greatest minds are those who play the long game. We can see with the results from the link in the previous argument that the change has already taken place in the youngest generation. We can't reasonably expect to change everyone immediately, but I think it's fair to assume that we are both capable of seeing the positive effects of this movement exactly where they count the most - in the growing youth.
But what about the rest? Of course they are going to resist change at first! This is merely my opponent arguing a truism, without realizing that it holds no real weight in our discussion. Did the white man like it when blacks were allowed to sit where they please on the bus? Did the oppressive forces of man like it when women were granted the right to demand equal pay? Change always comes with struggle. The main point though is that we can see the benefits of this change already occurring. To stop it now to please those who are fighting the change would be the same as giving up on women who demanded the right for equal pay, or giving up on African Americans who rightfully deserved the same freedoms as the white man. We cannot allow something which is ultimately beneficial for both the schools and the health of the children to simply be defeated by the same patterns throughout history which never last anyways. Change happens. It is a part of life, and to deny change that is showing itself to be beneficial would be nothing but us spitting in the face of history where resisted change ultimately led to the benefit of the whole.
I have shown why this change is actually a benefit to our society as a whole in regards to schools, the poor, and our health. There are further arguments including setting the pace for the rest of the world and corporate opposition from junk food providers which are influencing law-makers via lobbyists. I will expand on these additional arguments in the next round.
Every one of my arguments has been shot down completely, with not even the slightest chance of trying to recover them and make them stronger. There is truly no remote chance of me even attempting to try and continue this debate, I done over three hours of research and there is just nothing to refute against Pros arguments. This has been an eye opener for me, and school lunches should be healthy.
I thank my opponent for accepting my debate, and also thank him for showing me what a real butt kicking over a debate looks like.
No further arguments, sorry for wasting your time, and also mine.
The greatest of all debaters are those who can educate not only themselves, but also others. It is not enough to merely win, but to change the opinion of your fellow man, that is the real hidden power of debating.
I am truly honored that I was able to do so with you in this debate. For a long time, I held the same position as you if I may be perfectly honest. It wasn't until discussing this with a fellow debater long ago that I was able to see the error of my own ways. This was a great challenge to put the knowledge I've garnered into effect and one that I was pleased to pursue with you as my opponent.
I am even more pleased that you are kind enough to concede your position instead of just forfeiting like most others. It's situations like this that make me feel the utmost respect for my opponent. Not only do I look forward to seeing your debate career here unfold as time goes on, but I would be more than happy to always lend a hand wherever and whenever needed.
For the sake of formality and standards, I will now say that I extend all arguments which remain standing unchallenged.
Thank you once more, flash7221, for this thought-provoking and enlightening exercise of debate.
If I may suggest, it'd probably be safe for you to just say "Pass" in the final round. That would expedite the process and allow us both to continue with our other pursuits as soon as possible.