The Harbinger Online

Editorial: Everything in Moderation

Today’s high school students spend copious amounts of time on social media and staring at screens. They are part of an obesity epidemic that is sweeping the nation. They’re guzzling down caffeinated beverages in excess. Whatever they do, they overdo it. As students, The Harbinger believes that our generation should listen to the old saying, ‘everything in moderation.’

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to require companies to start phasing out trans-fats in their processed food points to a much larger issue at hand. If moderation was exercised more often, this wouldn’t be among the chief issues the FDA has to deal with. But the trans-fat ban is an indicator on a generational slump.

Not only is it the debate on the banning of trans fats; it’s the parental lock features on new tablets to limit the time kids spend on the internet. All signs point to a group of young people with an enormous lack of self-control and willpower.

The government should not have had to step in and place restraints upon food in the first place. While this tactic helps to limit the consumption it is not teaching the importance of one’s use of restraint.

The largest question is whether we will grow out of it. This instant-gratification type of world keeps young people always looking to what is next. Our brains process photos and videos on social media so quickly that we are always wanting more. We, by  nature, demand everything faster and easier. Instead of a home-cooked meal, it’s a packaged and processed lunch. Instead of a long books, it’s the short SparkNotes on the internet. Quicker, less work, instant gratification, all the time.

Sure, it’s not the downfall of humanity but this more, more, more style of living points to some serious hazards ahead. Diabetes, heart disease, obesity — these phrases get tossed around frequently but demonstrate chief concerns for our generation. According to the Center for Disease Control, over the past 30 years obesity rates in adolescents has more than tripled. From 1980 to 2010, adolescents who were obese went from 5 percent to 18 percent. We are growing up in a country filled with people who are dying from diseases related from eating too much. Moderation could do a world of good.

Americans teens should consider the consequences of their over-doings and pull back. Instead of spending hours on a cell phone, cut back on screen-time and fill the extra space with a book or exercise. Instead of over-eating unhealthy food, keep a balanced diet and consume junk food in smaller amounts.

The government shouldn’t have to regulate food consumption and the world would be a lot better off if teens began exercising moderation more often.

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The Harbinger Online Staff

The Harbinger is the exclusive student-run news program for Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, KS. Staffed by approximately 60 dedicated super-students and overseen by adviser C. Dow Tate, the print and online publications have won numerous national awards. The Harbinger is published in print every two weeks and its website edition is updated daily. The website edition includes blogs, live video, photo galleries and stories not published in the ... Read Full »

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