Investigating: Healthy Eating

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With ?fat tests? being introduced into primary schools, and the government taking its lead from TV chefs, one might well be depressed at the state that our diets have fallen into, whether by our own lax attitudes or otherwise. Fortunately for RMGS students, our beloved school is once again leagues ahead of the rest of the country with its Healthy School Scheme. But is it actually working?
Since its introduction some time ago, the school has slowly but surely moved from almost solely ?chips and chocolate? into its present ?salad days.? Presented with some of the fiercest opposition that the school council system has ever managed to muster, coupled with the subversive yet idle mutterings of a good proportion of the evidently nugatory student population, the shift has occurred with virtually no obstructions.

It is now being billed as such a success that even the national media have shown an interest, with several television crews having visited the school since its implementation. Overmark, the school-banned student-run opinion outlet, wonders whether this was to be attributed to the school?s encouragement of the media?s use to promote free speech. Or perhaps yet another opportunity for RMGS to cast itself in a rather ill-fitting spotless light? Readers are invited, by us at least, to make up your own minds.

Although ?healthiness? is a rather abstract and difficult to quantify concept, it may be noticed that the average width of students does not seem to have decreased all that noticeably, yet the length of the queue for cooked food during morning break, when deep fried cholesterol is still available, has grown somewhat. The healthy vending machines now selling water and Disney marketed raisins (perhaps a cunning ruse designed to encourage our preschool students to eat them) are no longer thronged with people throughout the day, but the sixth form breakfast bar is.

It has long been the case that one can lead a horse to water, but cannot make it drink, especially if there is cola on offer elsewhere. Rather than replacing the ?bad? for the ?good?, many simply visit the canteen at break instead. All the while the offer of other, less healthy foodstuffs is available, many, especially the rebels among us, will inevitably choose those over the encouraged healthy options. Of course, we wouldn?t advocate the school cutting out the ?junk? altogether ? it would be another gross misuse of its power and fly directly in the face of everything we at OM have ever stood for.

So what now then? Pro-choice. As unsatisfactory as it may seem, a school that so clearly wants to nurture freethinking individuals must allow an element of choice, if only to separate the wheat from the chaff, or put another way, the acne-free future of tomorrow from those destined for angina in their mid-30s.