Schools are trying to ban candy. Writing on Slate, economist Tim Harford doubts schools can stop children from snacking.
My school used to offer two varieties of food. There was cafeteria food, which was inedible, and there were chocolate bars from the snack shop. For two years, I had four chocolate bars for lunch every day.
These days schools are trying to outlaw the unhealthy options, but some markets are irrepressible. William Guntrip is a 13-year-old boy whose central England school banished vending machines and snack-shop food in favor of nutritious offerings at the cafeteria. Guntrip spotted a market opportunity and has been buying soft drinks and candy and reselling them in his school playground. The school is trying to stop him and claims that most students are happy with the new regime, although if that was true then Guntrip wouldn’t be making nearly $100 a day.
For my last three years of high school, I never set foot in the cafeteria, which was dirty and noisy. Some days, I brought a sandwich, which I had to eat surreptitiously in the student lounge or a study room. Many days, I lunched on two packs of M&Ms and a Tab.