Students cite need for longer lunch period


Kelee Mills

Students leave for lunch earlier this year.

Kelee Mills, Staff Writer

Have you ever had to scarf your food down at lunch so quickly that it made your stomach hurt? When we eat at the school in the cafeteria, if we don´t get down there fast enough then we have to wait in a really long line. By the time we get our food, we may have fifteen minutes to eat. Others leave the building for lunch, but if we go out to eat for lunch or go home, then we barely have enough time to eat. No matter which choice a student makes, the 35 minutes allowed just isn’t enough time.

When we leave for lunch, we have to hurry to get to our cars just to get out of the parking lot. Then we take a risk of getting into a wreck because everyone has to hurry. If our parking spot is at the very end of the parking lot we have to wait for everyone to get out of their parking spaces, so that we can leave to go home or go out to eat. When we go out to eat, we have to wait in long lines and take the risk of being late, or we have to rush back after we get our food, eating on the drive back. According to the Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley, drivers eating or drinking are visually distracted since they are required to take their eyes off the road, at some point, in order to consume their food.  It is also a distraction because the driver participates in an activity that removes their hands from the steering wheel. 

When we eat in the cafeteria for lunch, we have to rush down there to get in line. If students don’t get down to the cafeteria fast enough, waiting in line can take up the bigger part of the allotted time for lunch. Once students get their food, then they may get fifteen minutes to eat their food before they have to go back to class. According to the Healthline, eating really fast puts people at risk of obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, poor digestion, and low satisfaction. 

Some students don’t even eat lunch because they don’t want their stomachs hurting all day. Others barely even eat anything, maybe a banana or something, because we know if we eat too much food too quickly then we will feel sick for the rest of the school day. According to Fueling Teens writer Katherine Harmer, RND, when teens skip lunch it can negatively affect their mood, energy levels, athletic performance, and appetite regulation. 

The answer to the problem is simple. Right now we have 34 minutes for lunch, but if we cut three minutes from each class period that would give us 21 more minutes to add to our lunch period. We would have fifty-five minutes to eat, which would be plenty of time to eat our food and have enough time to let our food digest before going back to class. Many instructors don’t really teach during the last three minutes of class, so students either get on their phones or they talk to each other, because they don’t have enough time to work on their homework. It would be better to add those three minutes to our lunch instead of just wasting them on our phones or talking to each other. We also could start school a little earlier in the morning, or we could end the school day a little later. For instance, we could start right at 8 a.m., or go until 3:10 p.m. This would also create minutes that could be applied to lunch.