Talking points: Should the sale of junk food be banned in school canteens/kiosks?


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Bargo Luella Andrea, 12, HKMA David Li Kwok Po College

No, I don’t think so. Students should be able to buy junk food from their school. A lot of parents give their children money to buy snacks during recess, so they can save time rather than going to the grocery store. Yes, I know junk food is unhealthy, but is it necessary to eat healthily all the time? I don’t think so.

Yu Yat-hei, 12, PLK Tang Yuk Tien College

It definitely should be. Students line up at the school kiosk for one reason: to buy something delicious to eat. Most canteens offer a range of healthy and not-so-healthy food, but of course students will go straight for the junk food. The only way to stop them from eating unhealthy food is to get rid of it. If students eat junk food too often, they could become sick.

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Karry Sze, 17, St Francis’ Canossian College

I think it should be because schools have a responsibility to promote a healthy lifestyle. Banning the sale of junk food would push students to eat more healthily, which in turn should make them healthier.

Yes, students will still be able to buy junk food outside of school, but not seeing junk food in their school canteen or kiosk might make them eventually crave junk food less.

Asher Lau Ka-yan, 15, Tin Shui Wai Methodist College

Some students might want to eat junk food because it tastes good, while others might prefer not to because it is unhealthy. Either way, students should have the freedom to choose what is best for them.

Schools can organise activities to teach students about the benefits of having a balanced diet, but it should ultimately be up to students what they eat, not schools, because their health is their responsibility. Banning junk food would take away their freedom to choose what they eat. Schools have no right to stop students from eating junk food; I mean, it isn’t drugs or alcohol!

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Lucia Ho, 12, Pope Paul VI College

No, it shouldn’t. Doing more exercise and eating less junk food is good for your health, but it does not mean we have to stop eating junk food altogether. I think you will be fine as long as you don’t eat junk food too often.

Perhaps schools could just sell junk food on certain days of the week, but I don’t think they need to ban it entirely.

Rachel Leung, 17, St Francis’ Canossian College

Definitely. Many students enjoy eating junk food because it tastes good, but junk food is not good for people’s health. Having junk food available for purchase at school will encourage students to eat it more often and could lead to an unhealthy eating habit.

Moreover, research has shown that junk food may cause behavioural problems in children such as poor concentration and hyperactivity. Banning junk food should reduce students’ unhealthy food intake and improve their health and overall behaviour.

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Lai Chun-ho, 12, PLK Tang Yuk Tien College

Absolutely. Junk food has zero to no nutritional value. Student’s need healthy food to grow strong. There are many additives in junk food that are bad for your health and usually high sugar and fat levels that can lead to diseases in the future. School should provide a healthy environment for students to grow up in, and I don’t think school should be contaminated with unhealthy food.

Choi Nok-him, 13, SKH Tang Shiu Kin Secondary School

Of course not. People should have the right to eat whatever food they want. Although junk food is not healthy, there is no need for it to be banned from schools. It might only encourage students to buy junk food shops nearby and bring it back to school. The best they can do is just inform students of the health risks of eating too much junk food.

Futhermore, because junk food is so popular among students, school canteens and kiosks probably make a lot of money from selling those products. If the sale of junk food were banned, schools would probably lose a lot of money. They might then have to raise the prices of the healthy food, which in the end would discourage students from buying those foods.

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Nicole Sze, 17, Fung Kai No. 1 Secondary School

Yes. School is a place to educate students, therefore schools have the responsibility to teach students what how to lead a healthy lifestyle. Schools always teach students that junk food is bad for them, yet they continue to sell junk food in their canteens and kiosks. Many students don’t have time to exercise, so they really shouldn’t eat so much junk food. I think it would improve the health of students if the sale of junk food at schools was banned.

Jasmine Louie, 17, St Francis’ Canossian College

Yes, I do think it should be banned. Students love rushing down to their school canteen at recess to buy junk food such as curry fishballs or French fries, but these foods have little to no nutritional value and are usually high in sugar, sodium, and fat. Eating junk food regularly would be harmful to students’ health, and may eventually lead to obesity and diabetes. If schools take the initiative to ban the sale of junk food from their canteens, that would leave students with healthier snack and lunch options. If students start to eat healthily at school, they might eventually want to eat more healthily at home, too.

In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:

Should students with special educational needs be taught separately?

We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to [email protected] by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.

Edited by Nicole Moraleda