Debate!

Should school vending machines ban sugary snacks and drinks?

Jan 18, 2012 | By TIME For Kids Staff

The struggle to keep kids healthy has taken center stage in schools across the country. Many schools are taking a hard look at their school lunch programs. They are trying to cut back on unnecessary fat and calories and to add more healthful ingredients instead.

Some schools are taking the food fight to vending machines, too, using their power to pick what kind of food can be sold as snacks and drinks. At Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Washington, for example, the vending machine is stocked with milk, juice and granola bars. But it’s possible that students don’t seem super excited about their options. In 2001, when the vending machines offered more options including candy and chips, the machines reportedly made $214,000 in profits. In 2011, they brought in just $17,000.

Should school vending machines force students to select healthy snacks and drinks? Or should students have the ability to make their own choices?

What do you think? We want to hear your opinion. Write a 200-word response. Send it to tfkasks4you@timeforkids.com. Your response may be published in a future issue of TIME For Kids. Please include your grade level and contact information for your parent or teacher if you want your response to be published. The deadline for responding is February 6.

Then, be sure to vote for your opinion!