In most of the adolescence, poor dietary system has been affected in a big way which costs the school children face the consequences of obesity. Almost 83% of the overall food habits fall under the junk food concept. This overall food habits comprise of high sugar content, high fat and saturated fat content with minimum attention given to the consumption of fruits, vegetables, pulses, and fiber and calcium intake. The healthy food habits will barely account for 22% of the children’s food behavior (Snelling, Korba, & Burkey, 2007).
In order to curb this bad dietary system approach, schools involve their students in the National School Lunch Program but the availability of the junk competitive food in and around their schools such as stalls, cafeterias, hotels, restaurants; vending machines disrupt this program structure. In comparison to the NSLP items provided by schools, the competitive food items are high in calorie and fat content and lack nutrient value (Kish, 2008). This calorie content and nutrient value can be stated into three levels based on the type of food items.
Level A could imply rich in minerals and vitamins, lower fat and high fiber involving the items of fruits, vegetables, low fat and fat free milk products and whole grain products. The intake of this level is a necessity for every high school child but is the least intake of food habit noticed. Level B comprise of moderate levels of calories and proteins, grains and certain nutrients, certain amount of dairy products and considerable amount of fruits and vegetables.
Level C indicate high fat foods, fried items, potato chips, French fries, all kinds of cafeteria junk food, butter, cheese, soft drinks, pizzas which contain highest levels of fat and cream. Majority of the participants were identified falling into level C which is a huge concern for school authorities and parents (Snelling, Korba, & Burkey, 2007). Customer Demographics The overall high school demographics comprised of the Whites, blacks, Hipics, Asian Americans, and certain students who are offered food items at either free or reduced prices. The highest number of students was figured under the white category.
The consumption of the level c items in terms of purchases ranked much above the offerings made to the students and the intake of level A and level B in the competitive food markets was the least purchased. Culture, ethical behavior and religious influences are initiated from the family, society and the school atmospherics which are directly affecting the food styles of the children. Demonstration effect also paves way for the encouragement of eating junk food as in certain cases it shows the style, status and class symbol (Snelling, Korba, & Burkey, 2007). Health Behaviors – Canadian perspective
The outcomes and the behaviors resulted due to their purchase behavior helps in the overall development of health education comprising of the social, emotional and physical state of mind of a child. In Canada, the un-necessary buying habits on food could arise from the time of adolescence at the time of dating and alcohol usage also they might have been evolved from their childhood pattern. Therefore it is very important to analyze the behavior which develops through home behaviors, relationship with their peers and the social and the economical environment.
Social inequality like gender, sexual orientation, ethnic behavior, youth and psychological behaviors are affecting in a huge way. As analyzed in Canadian secondary schools, teachers influence the children’s buying habits. The Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC) in Canada was conducted which identified the eating behavior of children in their physical activity, leisure time, while dieting and eating and especially during personal hygiene. Parental communication, understanding in the family and trust within them act as a base in their erratic food habits.
Conflict with their parents and at times thinking of going away from home are huge concerns of unhealthy food behaviors (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008). Since children spend most hours at school premises, the setting of the school have huge influence on their eating pattern. Hence in certain cases, due to stress in academics or other mental torture at schools by teachers, the pattern of healthy food habits is disrupted. To overcome all these problems in Canada, physical activity guide and overcoming sedentary behaviors which indicate less movement and energy wastage is looked into along with keeping a check on the food frequency.
Use of drug, smoking pattern and drinking pattern is the main cause in Canadian school children (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008). Physical Environment The overall appearance and atmosphere in high school systems is guided by the school program meals and the attractive stalls existing in t he vicinity of the schools which are rich in the stock of junk foods. Better funding for food by the government is a necessary requirement for combating cholesterol, diabetics and obesity amongst young school children.
Extensive reports on food habits was documented through emails, public responses, broadcast and print media information, parents, cabinet ministers, editorials, newspapers, health professionals and school management (Jeffrey, & Leo, 2006). Service Styles Ease and Speed of service – Today all the food courts and joints follow the Grab and Go concept which indicate that they grab the item desired by them microwave it and consume it immediately. Such instant are the dining facilities available in their stores which helps in consuming huge quantity at one time due to the hot and quicker option that is offered.
This facility is incorporated at all times of meals including breakfast, lunch focusing on salads, sandwiches and some wraps and complete meal comprising of sandwich, chips, fruit cap, yogurt, bottle of water and condiments which help in reducing the time students have to remain in queue for the service. Today in alternative to hot food options available, cold options are also made obtainable by food businesses. This is the best option that can be made accessible in cases where space is a constraint especially in hospital food courts and more common during parent meetings and get-togethers.
The traditional made to order set ups are become outdated and the modern grab and go concept capture 55% of the business on the school campuses. No-waiting was the concept to grab fresh and good food without waiting in line which makes the students acknowledge that it resembles the made-to-order model setup (Food Service Director, 2008). Packaging – The concept of Aramark’s Grab and Go Green started taking shape with its implementation of the throw away bags instead of the disposable trays.
This was encouraged by offering a free beverage to anyone who took a bag and a meal special. The bags are made of recycled material costing only 99 cents and can comfortably carry a beverage and a meal which have their specific compartments inside. After usage they can be used for the storage of their belonging, books etc. Aggressive marketing through emails and signage helped the Aramark’s promotions and hence has been different from the national brands packaging and advertising (Food Service Director, 2008). Conclusion
The Canadian food habits of schools are far lacking in terms of weaker standards of nutrition, selling poor in nutrient food stuff, lack of limits on saturated food items and wide differences in the food nutrition criteria of judging the food offerings, lack of standardized guidelines and policies and documented published information (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008). Government should take active role in ensuring responsibility in terms of providing nutritious healthy food which facilitates the process of food safety, protection the children there by protecting the consumers at large (Jeffrey, & Leo, 2008).