The Digestive Track: The Only Run You Shouldn’t Rush

Rylee Bunnell, Student Writer

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At Murray High School, lunch is split into two separate 30 minute periods, being first and second lunch, and you go to whichever lunch your third period teacher has.  

This same lunch schedule is used in most schools in Utah, with a few exceptions.  Is a 30 minute lunch too short for students?  

The answer to this question is yes.  It does not just lie in the personal opinion of students or faculty, but it lies in the science behind our bodies as well as food digestion rates.  

On average, it takes about 20 minutes for the human body to digest food from the moment it enters the mouth, continuing until all the nutrients have been taken from the food, and the rest is put into waste.  

With this information, scientists have come to the conclusion that is is actually better for your body to eat slower, taking at least 40 minutes to eat a full meal.  

In fact, eating slowly comes with benefits that include better digestion, better hydration, easier weight maintenance, and greater satisfaction with meals.  

If you rush through your meals, your digestion suffers, and you feel as if each meal is over too soon, causing you to consume more.

 Having a 30-minute lunch often causes students to eat faster.  

Thirty minutes may seem like the perfect amount of time to eat, considering it takes only 20 minutes to digest food, however, we must take into account how long it takes to get lunch, and how much students talk to friends during lunch.  

It takes about 10 minutes to receive a school lunch, and that leaves 20 minutes to talk with friends and enjoy a meal, which isn’t nearly enough time. 

American Fork High School, located in Alpine School District, has an hour long lunch, and still get out of school roughly the same time Murray High School.  

Having a lunch longer than 30 minutes would not only be beneficial to the social lives of students and faculty, but would benefit our bodies as well.

Chew on that.

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