In the Minneapolis public schools, we are supposed to have 15 minutes to eat, which would be bad enough. But realistically we get only 10 to 11 minutes (we have been timing it).
Having to rush to eat is part of the reason for the obesity epidemic, eating disorders, indigestion and kids not doing well in school. There is research that proves all of these points. Kids just need more time to eat at school.
Rushing to eat high-calorie meals at school, or at home, is the cause for the gastroesophageal reflux. This is often called heartburn. Heartburn feels bad -- the symptoms are burning in the chest, overall chest pain, burning in the throat, difficulty swallowing, food sticking in middle of the chest or throat, sore throat and cough.
School-age children especially need nutrition, but we are the ones who don't get a choice about how long we get to eat. We are growing and have to get energy. In middle school especially, our bodies need energy, because middle-school kids are going through puberty. It is essential that we get enough time.