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Healthy Products Should Be Less Expensive At The University

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The other day I was travelling to school and I realised I forgot my water bottle at home. Normally I don’t use plastic bottles since I want to be a bit more concerned about the environment and I always try to drink water because I want to be a bit more concerned about my summer body. I figured I could not get through the day without anything to drink, so I wanted to buy some water at school. With this hot summer body in the back of my mind I grabbed some water immediately, but then I noticed something… The price of this water bottle was actually just as high or even higher as any soft drink that was also for sale.

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Now I would like the school to wake up …. because I am not only talking about water bottles instead of soft drinks. I am talking about fruit instead of chocolate as well. I am talking about a vegetable wrap instead of a frikadel as well. I am talking about a salad instead of a burger as well. My name is Laura Mol and I am here today because healthy products should be less expensive at the Hague University. I know that there’ll also be students who don’t even care about having a summer body because they might not even be able to go on holiday or just don’t care as much about what they are eating. However, eating healthy still does have some good benefits for them as well. For instance, you’ll be more productive, less stressed and you’ll live longer. Something that I am sure would be convenient for all of us. Even the Dutch government wants more healthy food to be available for consumers. She signed an agreement with several parties for the reduction of salt, fat and sugar in products. The Hague thinks that consumers should be able to easily opt for healthy food and that is why she for example finances the Nutrition Center. This Center provides independent information about responsible and healthy food with the mission to stimulate people to make healthier choices. There are also millions and millions of studies saying that healthy nutrition has multiple benefits to the human body and helps prevent diseases and obesity.

With this said, it is very contradictory that on the one hand, we are told to be concerned about our eating habits because it consequently must also benefit our study results for example, but on the other hand, the environment where we are working on these results, namely the school, does not seem to stimulate this healthy lifestyle. Something is wrong here. Making healthy foods a bigger priority would not only be beneficial for us, students, but for the school as well. A study of the researcher Pratini in 2014 found that eating unhealthy foods has a 68% increased risk of productivity loss.

Another study of the economist Roland Sturm found that lowering the cost of nutritionally preferable foods can motivate people to significantly improve their diet. So wouldn’t it be great for this school if healthier lifestyles but at the same time more productivity among her students can be achieved just by lowering the prices of healthy nutrition? I understand that cutting down the prices could lead to changes in the school’s revenue and that might sound scary at first. Even though I am sure that the school doesn’t stay alive because of the incomes of the food court, let’s also think about this: supermarkets put higher prices on healthy foods as well and students don’t have much time. So the more economically attracting it is, the more people that will buy their products at school.

Now, I don’t have the exact calculated numbers but I know one plus one is two… because why should you spend extra time in the supermarket and with making your lunch bag every day when you can get fresh food for a lower price in a building where you already need to be? Nevertheless, healthy products should be cheaper than junk foods at school because nobody should be paying more to live a better lifestyle.

15 April 2020

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