Pros & Cons of Fast Foods in School

Fast food is delicious and kids do love it, but there has been much debate about whether it should be served in cafeterias in grade schools and post-secondary schools alike. The convenience and taste of fast food appeals to many students, but child advocates and parents believe the unsavory risks far outweigh the convenience.

Pro: Variation

It's hardly a secret that most children enjoy pizza, burgers, fries, tacos and fried chicken. However, fast food doesn't have to be all grease. Having non "burger-joint" fast food served in cafeterias offers students a wider variety of foods they may not have otherwise been exposed to, such as Indian, Thai dishes, sushi or Japanese food.

Pro: Sometimes Healthy

While it may sound like an oxymoron, not all fast food is bad. Many fast-food places serve healthier options. Fast food options such as sushi offer a low-calorie, low-carb alternative to fast food and are complete with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Other options, such as:

  • roasted chicken breast salad coming in at only 137 calories
  • or their 6-inch roasted chicken breast
  • veggie
  • club
  • turkey subs
  • all less than 300 calories (Please see reference four)

Con: Mostly Unhealthy

While delicious, it's no surprise that the majority of streamline fast food is bad for your health 5. Many fast food meals contain high fat, sodium, sugar and carbohydrates, resulting in high-calorie intake. With a large-fry side dish sitting at a staggering 560 calories and 27 grams of fat at McDonald's, and 540 calories, 27 grams of fat at Burger King, it's no wonder those dieting choose to cut out fast food. The calorie intake for a mere side dish would cause anyone to raise a brow at feeding it to students on a daily basis.

Con: Vegetarian and Health Conscious

While many fast-food chains have added a "light" menu as well as vegetarian items, that is not the case with all chains. Some chains have tried to incorporate salads and yogurts into their menu that still come up at just under 300 calories. Also, many fast-food chains offer few, if any, vegetables or vegetarian burger options, making the option difficult for those who live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

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