Schools sell about 750 million dollars a year in junk food from vending machines, giving us some clue about why childhood obesity has doubled over the past 20 years. But what about the connection between student’s behavior and the amount of refined sugar they’re taking in? It is absolutely quantifiable.
As just one example from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, Central Middle School in Whitefish, Montana replaced all sodas in vending machines with water and 100% juice. They also made sure that all forms of candy were unavailable to students during school hours and, instead, offered alternatives like homemade pretzels, bagels, salads, fresh fruit and baked chips. The result? Discipline problems and violent outbursts went from the previous average of three or four per day after lunch to only one or two per week.
Additionally, the teachers reported an improved attentiveness and overall behavior during class immediately following lunch. One teacher commented on how students were “rested, relaxed, and ready to learn,” while another reported that she “gained 10 minutes in instruction time” per class period (which amounts to 30 extra hours per year).