Students Need Nutrients

Eating right is necessary for both physical and mental health


Art by Belle Dilger

Bad diets are responsible for more deaths across the world than smoking, and it’s becoming more of a worry that students aren’t getting the message on proper eating health. Students have different eating habits that influence the nutrients they are ingesting daily; some things incredibly beneficial, and others more dangerous to their health. The nutrition that students receive affects their day to day and long term health, meaning it affects their performance in school, but school could also be the culprit. While eating trends have changed, the need for balanced meals and a healthy eating pattern has always been necessary for the growing youth.

There are many things that make up healthy eating habits, but some students’ diets are missing key elements to a nutritious meal. Skipping meals for long periods of time, barely eating anything or just eating empty calories are the leading factors of poor health and physical problems. This can be seen in students and is a common reason why many have no energy to get through the day’s classes.

“What I’ve noticed is that there are generally too many people eating chips and drinking sugary drinks,” sophomore Austin Phillips said. “Everywhere the vending machines have lines of people just to get chips. People continuing to eat this way every day is going to lead to health issues in the future for sure.”

Depending on the activities one participates in, being well-fed is crucial for success. Many students drop their heads to their desks falling asleep in class due to lack of sleep or boredom, however, malnutrition also plays a part. Not having the correct supplements in students’ systems is a massive energy drainer, preventing clear thinking. Depending on what one needs, what they’re missing, and how long they’ve lacked it, the body can go through many symptoms in retaliation.

It’s shown that the effects of fasting can make a person experience headaches and dizziness. Having low blood sugar makes it hard for a body to function because of weakness in muscles and an overwhelming feeling of constant fatigue. Longer-term effects can lead to a weakened immune system and muscle break down.

“The body starts failing and can’t do the things it needs to function the way is required without eating,” owner of the lunch program Patricia’s Lunchbox Patricia Slate said. “Especially over elongated periods of time, it can be very toxic on the body and mind. You need to eat.”

Every morning teenagers are expected to have all of the parts of a balanced breakfast, however, the most important meal of the day is the one most commonly skipped. The reason for this is often a lack of time in the morning as everyone’s in a hurry to get from place to place. Another reason is because it’s not seen as that important and people think it’s not going to make a difference. Lunch is the meal with the second most problems where some skip it or eat the wrong foods. Large amounts of processed foods like chips and other artificial trans fats are consumed instead of protein and vitamins.
Missing breakfast and improper foods the rest of the day are messing with the growing body. Sugar and fats can be good but if that’s the only thing being consumed then students are in for a rude awakening.

“I think it’s because we don’t have enough time in the morning to eat food, and lunch is like a status thing, people only seem to eat if everyone else is doing it,” freshman Anna Fox said.

So many different things go into making a successful meal, and a good few of the problems in these eating habits are things teenagers can’t control. Unhealthy snack options are the cheapest and most readily available and lots of carbs and sugar advertised on television all day long.
There are things you can do to help yourself stay well. Control your proportions when faced with a meal, when having sides maybe pick the better alternative, even if it’s only better by a bit, and ask other people for advice or look up nutritional goals yourself.

“Just start with a simple lunch, pack things that are easy to make and small things you know you will enjoy, a good lunch doesn’t have to be complicated,” sophomore Zebulin Maurice said.