Staff Editorial: Why unhealthy habits can affect our bodies in a negative way

Like many, as 2021 came closer the idea to create new healthy habits and get rid of the bad habits is a common new year goal. Students in general have bad habits such as caffeine to stay awake for studying or on the opposite spectrum not having the energy to study. These bad habits that affect us more than we think about. Bad habits such as caffeine, fast food and even procrastination can affect our health in a negative way.

As students advance through high school, more projects, papers, assignments, and planning for the future overlap each other leading to stress and anxiety about due dates. There are different ways to look at procrastination, first being the ‘I do not want to do it’ way. Many teens do not have motivation to do either homework or study due to lack of energy or simply not having enough time to complete what needs to be done. It can be helpful for students to plan out due dates and other important dates on a calendar to balance out the workload instead of students waiting for the last minute to complete assignments.

The last two years of high school are the most crucial for preparing for life beyond high school. Colleges, scholarships and studying are things that seniors and juniors should focus more on in order to have a successful future. Procrastination is a bad habit that all students should break in order to be less stressed about school and to turn in assignments when they are due. A survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that nearly half of all teens, 45 percent, said they were stressed by school pressures. Although it may be a hard habit to break, procrastination causes stress and anxiety. When students turn things in on time, it eliminates the worry and fear of due dates.

Another common bad habit of teens is fast food consumption. Many students who have their license run to their cars to get first in line at McDonald’s. It is a habit for most kids to eat fast food because it is the cheaper alternative instead of paying $10 or more at Kwik Trip or Subway. Eating fast food is extremely bad for our bodies because of the excessive saturated fats and high cholesterol levels. According to the Health Line, fast food affects respiratory, reproductive and nervous systems, leading to health issues such as asthma, obesity and depression.

Besides the health issues, fast food oil can cause acne breakouts and an addiction to fast food. Teenagers tend to look at the price and how cheap fast food is instead of the unhealthy fried food. Breaking the habit of eating fast food is hard with such limited choices, but by packing a lunch, students can keep a better track of what is put into their bodies.

Whether it is to stay awake to study or for the fun of going to Starbucks, teens overuse caffeine which can be damaging to the body.Caffeine is addictive and is a bad habit among teenagers. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that adolescents, ages 12 to 18, should cap daily caffeine intake at 100 mg. This is the equivalent of about one cup of coffee. A healthy alternative for caffeine can vary from drinking a small cup of tea or sleeping eight hours a night to have a better mental and physical health.

All of these bad habits high schoolers are guilty of doing and students should refrain from these habits for the sake of their mental and physical health.