Longer lunches encourage safety and wellbeing within the student body

Mercer Janssen, PR Manager

Allowing students to feel at ease: a concept the administration must have been unaware of when they created the bell schedule. Currently, lunch is a meager 30 minutes. Once seating themselves and pulling out their meals, students realize that their lunch time is already reduced to 25 minutes, maybe even 20 minutes if their fourth-period class is far away or if they have to buy lunch. The time a student has to cool down and relax before their last two classes is fully consumed by eating.

Around the U.S., researchers have noticed connections between prevalent health epidemics and shorter lunch breaks. These statistics do not only apply to students eating at school; juniors and seniors who have the option to purchase lunch off campus spend all of their time going to get food, and when they return there is no time left to eat.

A study found “these students [ones with reduced lunch hours] are eating 13 percent less of their main entree…as well as 12 percent less of their vegetables. They drank 10 percent less milk, too” (Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, January 2016).

Students are not receiving the adequate amount of protein, vitamins and other necessities. Many are rather stuffing themselves full of carbs that burn away quickly. These trends are associated with childhood obesity. Children at school binge on all the foods that provide them no nutritional value, and they don’t consume enough healthy food that provides energy to continue through the school day. The brevity of lunch contributes to an unhealthy lifestyle at school.

Not only do shorter lunch hours encourage unhealthy eating habits and lifestyles, but the limited time also promotes unsafe driving by the upperclassmen who can leave campus. Students do not have enough time to make their way leisurely to a restaurant or grocery store. They have to allot enough time to get a parking spot, run out, grab their food and return back to their cars in time to find parking back at school. This, of course, creates unnecessary amounts of stress that could be avoided if lunch was at least 10 minutes longer.

According to driving reminders of the DMV, “Your judgment may become clouded as you focus more and more on an emotionally-charged interaction, idea or event.”

Shorter lunches encourage unhealthier or dangerous lifestyles and eating habits.