According to the West Virginia State Board Policy 4321.1 (2005) requires schools to provide a minimum of 10 minutes for breakfast and 20 minutes for lunch; meanwhile the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) states that the FNS encourages schools to provide sufficient lunch periods that are long enough to give all students enough time to be served and to eat their lunches. Our key words here being “all students”, how many students actually receive 20 minutes to eat his or her lunch?  This begged the question of how Woodrow Wilson High School (WWHS) with a population of approximately 1,400 students manage to give every student 20 minutes to consume their lunch in only two lunch periods?  Here’s the catch, they don’t. With nearly 700 students in each lunch period, a school of that size cannot guarantee every student an adequate amount of time to eat their lunch.

At this point you may be asking “So what if they have to eat fast?”, well allow me to elaborate.  First of all weight gain; our brain and stomach work together to control how much we eat, it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full.  Per say a student falls towards the end of the lunch line and has less than that time, they eat calories too quickly for their bodies to register they’re full hence overeating.  As of 2016 West Virginia’s adult obesity rate is currently 35.6 percent, up from 23.9 percent in 2000, could this habit formed in the school system be a factor in the rising obesity rate?
Secondly according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine eating too quickly can cause indigestion.  Resulting in any of the following: heartburn, bloating, feeling of being overly full, and excessive burping.

So I’d like to ask you, do you have at least twenty minutes to eat at school, work, or home?

  1. Sources:
  2. http://www.nasbe.org/healthy_schools/hs/bytopics.php?topicid=3110
  3. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title7-vol4/pdf/CFR-2011-title7-vol4-sec210-10.pdf
  4. http://www.livestrong.com/article/446323-the-effects-of-eating-too-fast/
  5. https://www.bustle.com/articles/150802-5-signs-youre-eating-too-fast-how-it-can-affect-your-health
  6. stateofobesity.org/states/wv/

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