WVMS Voice

The Student News Site of Welsh Valley Middle School

WVMS Voice

WVMS Voice

Ultra-Processed Foods in Schools


A typical lunch at Welsh Valley Middle School consists of a slice of pizza, a bag of chips, cookies, and a drink. Even though there is a variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from as a side, most kids skip that section and head to the highly processed food rack, such as chips and cookies.

How Processed are School Lunches and Why are They Bad?

Regularly consuming high-fat processed meats like pepperoni, bacon, and sausage as toppings on your pizza can increase your risk of developing certain forms of cancer, such as bowel and stomach cancer.

Studies show that one slice of pizza has 20 percent of the recommended daily amount of saturated fat. Most students also grab a can of Izze, a fairly popular juice drink.

What they don’t realize is that this small can (8.4 oz) of juice has 21 grams of sugar, about 84% of the amount of sugar you should be consuming a day.

Also, eating chips daily is considered unhealthy. They are a high calorie, high fat snack that contains way too much salt to be eaten daily.

Daily consumption can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart diseases and other health problems.

Fueling Student Health

Either you buy lunch or you pack it. It’s common to have the same lunch everyday. This means that your eating habits will stay with you the rest of your life.

This is not saying to get rid of snacks like potato chips in school lunches, just don’t serve them everyday.

Swapping processed foods for real ingredients increases fiber intake, so instead of a bag of salty potato chips, swap it out for popcorn.

Healthier diets equals healthier students.


Students may ask, “Well, what am I supposed to eat for lunch then?”

The key to being healthier is moderation. It’s okay to have foods like chips and pizza, but an everyday habit will definitely cause health problems to anyone. Pizza isn’t the problem itself, it’s the overconsumption.

Schools should try their best to serve other lunches that are healthier for an alternative.

One pro of foods like pizza and packaged snacks is that it’s so simple to serve, just out of the box and onto your plate.

But the cons of ultra processed foods are the ways it’s made.

Depending on the degree of processing, nutrients can be removed and destroyed. You aren’t getting your daily needs when you eat these foods everyday. Just keep in mind what you are eating, and your overall physical and mental health can benefit.

When you’re stopping by the cafeteria on the way to class and grab some cereal, grab some apples too. You want to eat a balanced diet and try not to eat things like pizza everyday.


Overall, pizza isn’t bad for you if eaten every so often. So are other processed foods. Try your best to reduce your daily intake on unhealthy foods so you can be a healthier student/person in general. Try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables a day, meals based on starchy foods, dairy, and protein. And remember, don’t stop yourself from grabbing a sugary cookie every once and awhile, just remember to eat processed foods in moderation. Click here to learn about how to eat healthier.

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