Hunger: The Real Distraction

Without the periodic intake and chemical breakdown of food within our bodies, human beings cannot mentally or physically function at maximum capacity, which is why the privilege of eating during classes should be granted to all students.

“I can never wake up in time to eat a full breakfast because of increased amounts of homework, so I need to eat during classes in order to feel energized and prepared for the day,” sophomore Winston Yi said.

A widespread concern of teachers is that food can distract students from their primary target at school: to learn. While an occasional rustling of a chip bag may cause a few heads to turn, this temporary distraction is far less harmful than the act of not allowing students to eat, because hunger takes away from their educational experiences in the long run.

“When a child is food insecure, the body naturally prioritizes the small amounts of food and how it will be used to fuel the functions of the body,” according to the Second Harvest Community Food Bank. “Energy from food is first applied to the maintenance of organs like the heart and lungs, followed by use for growth. Social activity and learning are the last place that energy from food is applied.”

Yi, as well as many other students, do not have a regular eating schedule that incorporates breakfast, which  negatively affects their capacity for knowledge intake and attention spans during important lessons. Due to their hunger, there is more difficulty for students to focus on tasks at hand, causing learning to be inefficient for both teachers and students.

Not only does the restriction of eating in class negatively impact the learning qualities of students, but it also damages their health.

According to Community Health Magazine, “Eating five to seven times per day in a grazing manner with a good blend of protein, healthy carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lots of water is the best method to keep the brain and muscles fueled, the metabolism moving, and blood sugar levels constant. These outcomes are keys to maintaining optimum energy and body fat levels.”

Many argue that the period dedicated to lunch is sufficient for eating. However, sophomore Benji Kim presents a significant setback in proper nutrition intake.

“The lunch lines this year are way too long,” Kim said. “Also, most students do other activities than eating, but the time left isn’t enough, so students will have to give up eating for these activities they actually want to do.”

The option for students to eat during class time is absolutely necessary in order to guarantee the students receive the education they deserve and stay healthy in the process.