Students feel rushed at lunch, causing cramps and obesity

Enterprise file photo — Marcello Iaia

An apple a day? An apple-cheeked boy eyes a healthy treat as he moves though the school lunch line. Logan Buchanan writes that students at Farnsworth Middle School need more time for their lunch break as they are left with only five minutes to wolf down their meals. Marissa Simeone and Massoud Sharif each make the argument that teens need more sleep, and a later starting time for school would help keep the doctor away.

To the Editor:

 Shortened lunch means there will be more fat kids in our society. (We don’t want that, do we?)  When the students wolf down their lunches, they are consuming more calories in a short amount of time; that means they absorb more calories than needed.

At Farnsworth Middle School, we have only 30 minutes to eat. The lunch lines are very long so that means you have to wait 10 to 20 minutes to retrieve the food and find a place to sit, so that’s basically two to four minutes. That means you have only five minutes left so you desperately need to wolf it all down and that isn’t a good thing either because the food doesn’t digest properly, causing stomach cramps and fatigue.

Most schools give students so little time to eat that they are contributing unknowingly to the childhood obesity problem. Healthy food such as fruits and vegetables take more time to eat.

Research shows that wolfing down a meal in a hurry often means people eat more because they don’t know they’re full till they’ve eaten way more than they need too. Elementary kids have about 25 minutes for lunch and middle school and high school students have about 30 minutes for lunch.

During this time, you have to go to the bathroom to wash your hands and get in line and wait to get your meals. Many students may only have 10 to 15 minutes left to eat by the time they get their food and find a place to sit and eat. Students should have at least 20 minutes to eat so the food can digest and they can socialize. It’s a problem in a lot of districts. There’s not a lot a time to get their food, sit down and eat their fill.

Longer lunch times would make the school day longer; some of the teachers oppose this option because they don't want to increase the school day. Another reason against longer lunches would be that students would have too much time on their hands and possibly chaos would occur in the lunchroom.

We, the students, desperately need longer lunch time or else we will turn into fat bowling balls. Longer lunches will help students to digest their lunches so they would be able to focus.

Logan Buchanan

Farnsworth Middle School