×
Grade 8
Informational, Persuasive, STEM
Writing

The Sugar Trap: We Just Can’t Get Enough

Jack, 826 Valencia
An argument against the overconsumption of sugar outlines the ways its effects are anything but sweet.

Sugar could be described as America’s best friend. That is why Euromonitor says the average American eats 126 grams of sugar a day, according to the Washington Post article, “Where People Around the World Eat the Most Sugar and Fat,” by Roberto Ferdman. The United States is the leading consumer of sugar. However, we shouldn’t be proud of this. Instead, you could think of sugar as America’s evil best friend.

Eating a little bit of sugar now and then is fine, but when you begin eating sugar 24/7, you get in serious trouble. That can cost you your life. In “The Truth about Sugar,” nutritional therapist Kerry Torrens says that the World Health Organization (WHO) reports an average American should eat thirty grams of sugar a day to be healthy. But if an average American eats 120 grams a day that is ninety unnecessary grams of sugar. These unnecessary grams of sugar are also creating health problems for our country, like Type 2 Diabetes, cancer, liver failure, obesity, and the list goes on.

Sugar has America in this big trap. Here are four reasons:

1) Sugar is hidden in many cereals, processed and packaged foods, ready-made meals, etc.

2) Sugar is very easy to access. It is available in almost every store and restaurant.

3) Sugar is cheap.

4) Sugar is highly addictive, according to health experts.

In a recent study at Everett Middle School, students could name five stores near their school that sold sugary foods. This show how easy it is to gain access to sugar through the meals and snacks we buy. Also, when boys and girls were given a choice between a soft drink or a piece of fruit, half would choose the soft drink over the piece of fruit. This shows how addicting sugar is.

Clearly, sugar is a problem in our country and we need to fix it. Education isn’t enough. Most Americans know sugar is bad for you. All the students I surveyed were able to name a health consequence of eating sugar (diabetes, cancer, fat, tooth decay, etc.). But even though all of them knew a consequence of sugar, half would still choose a soft drink. What more can we do? Many communities have tried a sugar tax and others have tried making healthy foods more accessible. These have reduced the problem but not terminated it. To eliminate a problem, you have to take out the source. Meaning, we have to take added sugar out of our stores. This is how we get soda out of an Everett student’s hands, or a juice box out of a kindergartener’s. This is how we get out of the sugar trap.

See more Writing at this level

Grade 8
Writing
The Sun Radiates With Light

by Cora B., Grade 8

Narrative

This narrative uses nature imagery, to help the reader walk through a day in the speaker's shoes

Grade 8
Writing
The Terrific Tale of Transferring

by Angel, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

A student writes about the transformative experience of changing schools.

Grades 6–8
Writing
Before I Knew How to Shine

by Brigid, 826CHI

Narrative
Poetry

A poem about facing fear—and learning how to shine.

Grades 7–8
Writing
Irritating Noise

by Curtis, 826michigan

Poetry

A rhyming (inverse) ode to a very irritating noise.

Grades 6–8
Writing
Listen

by Khloe Fewster, 826 Valencia

Poetry

This poem uses repetition to give advice for when you're feeling unsure of yourself.

Grade 8
Writing
Co-ed Teams, Yes or No?

by Ella, 826 Valencia

Persuasive

A persuasive argument for co-ed teams in the face of gender stereotypes, supported by results from primary research conducted by the author.

Grade 8
Writing
Meanwhile at the Creek…

by Gabriela T., 826 Valencia

Media
Narrative

In this resolution inspired by the "Include Someone" lesson and Cartoon Network storyboard, we learn that inclusive leaders take action—they don't wait for others to make a difference.

Grades 7–9
Writing
Fruit Woman Saves the Day

by Pia, 826NYC

Fantasy/SciFi
Narrative
STEM

A student reimagines food justice: Fruit Woman must convince Junk Food Man and Cheesecake Boy to eat their fruits and vegetables.

Grade 8
Writing
Optimism

by Mya, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

A piece packed with vivid description about taking risks at an ice rink.

Grade 8
Writing
All I Want

by Jabari, Grade 8, 826 Valencia

Poetry

A poem about wanting more from life.

Grades 7–8
Writing
jalapeño + love

by Calvin, 826michigan

Narrative

A student professes love—to a jalapeño!

Grade 8
Writing
Completing the Pokédex

by Andy, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

In this memoir, a few friends bond over a rare Pokémon Go catch.

Grade 8
Writing
Alex Nieto: The Unsung Hero of the Everett Community

by Jason, 826 Valencia

Informational

A student reports on the death of a college student from Bernal Heights, San Francisco, who neighbors believe was killed due to racial profiling.

Grades 8–9
Writing
The Saga Continues

by Calvin, 826michigan

Narrative

A laugh-out-loud personal narrative about a crush. Has your heart ever beat so fast it might get a speeding ticket and a $500 fine?

Grades 6–8
Writing
Rap for Stan Lee

by Luis, 826LA

Media
Poetry

A rap song dedicated to the Marvel comic writer Stan Lee and his inspired creations like the Hulk, Deadpool, Iron Man, and The Fantastic Four.

Grades 7–8
Writing
Why Do Borders Exist?

by V.G., 826LA

Poetry

A poem that muses on the purpose of borders in question and answer format.

Grades 8–10
Writing
David & Daniel

by David & Daniel, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

In this heartfelt exchange of letters, two students bond over food, videos games, and some scary adventures.

Grades 7–12
Writing
My Family Interview

by Johnny Vasquez, 826 MSP

Narrative

A family interview reveals a mother's painful past and shines a light on her persistence.

Grades 7–8
Writing
What Music Means to Me

by Sara Sofia Becerra L., Age 14, 826 Valencia

Poetry

This poem shares the writer's love for music with the world.

Grade 8
Writing
We Are All Family

by Rafael, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

A student remembers an afternoon adventure around town and explores what Chicago and community mean to him.

Grade 8
Writing
My Flight

by Soeun Lee, Grade 8, Tenafly, New Jersey

Poetry

In this poem, a student observes a dove's flight and reflects on their ability to soar.

Grade 8
Writing
Where I’m From and What I Want

by Dayana Alvarado, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

A student shares finding home in two places: Mexico and Chicago.

Grades 6–8
Writing
SO SPRINGY!

by Charlotte, 826CHI

Poetry

A poem about spring!

Grades 8–10
Writing
Reuben & Giselle

by Reuben & Giselle, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

Two students write to each other about where they came from, what they love, and a few mishaps along the way in an exchange of letters.

Grades 8–9
Writing
Confused

by Anonymous, Grade 8, 826 Boston

Poetry

In this poem, a student reflects on identity.

Grades 7–8
Writing
Just Glitter and Be Questioning

by Eva, 826 Valencia

Narrative

A student celebrates the journey of discovering whom to love.

Grade 8
Writing
My Latino Self

by Arianny, 826 Boston

Poetry

A poem that celebrates being Latino

Grades 7–9
Writing
New Sport: Pencils

by Jason, 826michigan

Informational

Making bottle flipping look like child's play, this piece outlines rules for the new, competitive Fantasy Sport "Pencils".

Grade 8
Writing
Lessons of a Lifetime

by Jiaxi, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

A student’s worldview is forever altered after a lesson on the Segregation Era and Jim Crow.

Grade 8
Writing
Finding Out I Have a Brother

by Natalie, 826CHI

Narrative

Weaving together Spanish and English, a student shares the discovery of a family secret.

Grade 8
Writing
Burning Love

by Lola, 826 Valencia

Poetry

A poem that portrays the arc of a love story told through the gift of a cigarette lighter.

Grade 8
Writing
Christmas

by Jeff, 826CHI

Narrative

In this piece, a student describes Christmas as a holiday best spent together.

Grade 8
Writing
I Remember

by Vivian, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

A narrative about loving to run—and learning to never quit!

Grades 7–8
Writing
School Blues

by Jamie, 826 Valencia

Poetry

A metaphorical poem about frustrations, from homework to homelessness.

Grade 8
Writing
20 Years From Now

by Salome Maldonando, 826CHI

Poetry

A poem about unrequited love.

Grades 8–12
Writing
A Challenge

by Shayne Williams

Narrative

Discover what one student experiences when they tuck their phone away for a whole day.

Grades 7–8
Writing
Hoverboard Failure

by Kevin, 826NYC

Fantasy/SciFi
Narrative

An informational briefing on a horrible incident in the year 5176 that changed the hoverboarding industry forever.

Grades 6–8
Writing
Dear Mom

by Jin, 826LA

Narrative

This student says thank you to her Mom, her hero, for a life full love and beef noodles!

Grades 8–10
Writing
Henry & Matthew & Santiago

by Henry, Matthew, & Santiago, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

A compilation of letters written by three students across one city filled with thoughts on books, sports, music, family, and musings on Valentine’s Day.

Grade 8
Writing
Women United: Stand Together Against Being Critiqued

by Elizabeth W., 826 Valencia

Informational
Persuasive

A persuasive piece for women and girls to unite and cultivate a culture of body image positivity.

Grades 6–8
Writing
Bryan

by Elsy, 826LA

Media
Narrative
Poetry

Song lyrics about memories of cake and pizza, friendship, and giving 1,000 opinions.

Grades 6–8
Writing
Laughter Means You’re Alive

by 826NYC students

Poetry

This collaborative poem explores the many sides and senses of laughter.

Grade 8
Writing
When People Come to See Me

by Arielle B., Grade 8

Poetry

This poem invites readers to remember that people are often going through more than choose to show.

Grades 8–9
Writing
Yerba Buena Gardens/Jardines de Yerba Buena

by Christian Z., Age 14, 826 Valencia

Poetry

A poet recounts his day out at the Yerba Buena Gardens.

Grades 8–9
Writing
Ode to My Grandfather

Amara, 826 New Orleans

Poetry

An ode celebrating an important figure in this student’s life.

Grades 8–9
Writing
Shout-Out Poem

by Anjum, 826CHI

Poetry

A shout-out poem to some things missed (Hyderabad) and celebrated (Mom).

Grade 8
Writing
I See

by Itzel Medina Luna, 826 Valencia

Poetry

In this poem from the forthcoming anthology, Poets in Revolt!, a student walks through her neighborhood searching for hidden stories.

Grade 8
Writing
How to Know if You’re Awake

by Tylor, 826NYC

Informational

A lean but essential checklist for readers to determine if they are awake.

Grades 8–9
Writing
What walking the red road means to me is

by Mariah Valenzuela, Minneapolis, MN

Poetry

From the forthcoming anthology, Poets in Revolt!, this poet uses her voice to speak up for those who have been silenced in the indigenous community.

Grade 8
Writing
Friends Should Be Forever

by Sharon, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

A memoir about finding true friendship.

Grade 8
Writing
It’s All About the Teamwork

by Victor, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

An epic memoir about an epic volleyball match! Who will win: the teachers or the students?

Grades 8–10
Writing
Christopher & Bryan & Jahir

by Christopher, Bryan, & Jahir, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

In an exchange of letters, three students across one city share stories about where they came from and the places that matter most.

Grades 8–10
Writing
Bryanna & Kayla

by Byanna & Kayla, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

Two students across one city bond by writing letters to each other about the people they love most.

Grades 7–8
Writing
My Persuasive Letter

by Renée, 826NYC

Persuasive

A persuasive letter detailing to the recipient the pointlessness of writing a persuasive letter. A helpful example for reluctant writers.

Grade 8
Writing
Where I’m From

by Cayden, 826DC

Narrative

This poem lists all of the pieces that make up the writer's whole.

Grades 7–8
Writing
My Volleyball Blues

by Lesly, 826 Valencia

Poetry

A sports poem about the losing blues.

Grades 8–9
Writing
Jazmine & Vanessa

by Jazmine & Vanessa, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

Over a series of letters, two compassionate and resilient students develop a deep friendship sealed in writing.

Grades 6–8
Writing
Dear Jackie Chan

by Luis, 826LA

Narrative

This student writes a letter to a hero with a sweet double kick: Jackie Chan!

Grade 8
Writing
Changing the Lunch Menu for the Better!

by Kaitlyn, 826NYC

Informational
Persuasive

A middle school student firmly protests the flavor and quality of her school’s lunches.

Grades 7–8
Writing
Who I Am

by Duanté, 826 Valencia

Narrative

A personal narrative about race and identity.

Grade 8
Writing
My Home, My Life

by Iliana, 826CHI

Narrative

A student searches for answers in their community.

Grades 8–12
Writing
It Might Not Always Disappear

by Sian Laing

Narrative

When Instagram becomes an unsightly battlefield.

Grades 7–8
Writing
BLM

by Chelsea, 826NYC

Poetry

An acrostic poem about the Black Lives Matter movement.

Grade 8
Writing
3 and 1: The Golden State Warriors Came Close

by Emmanuel J., 826NYC

Informational

An avid basketball fan discusses the rise of the Golden State Warriors through its individual players.

Grade 8
Writing
Voices

by Isabel, 826 Boston

Poetry

From the forthcoming anthology, Poets in Revolt!, this poem features a student battling with the voices constricting her freedom.

Grade 8
Writing
Where I’m From

by David, 826CHI

Narrative

A student writes about the smell, taste, and pace of their neighborhood.

Grades 8–9
Writing
Kneel Down for What You Believe In

by Caroline, 826 Valencia

Informational
Persuasive

A student explores U.S. soccer player Megan Rapinoe’s decision to kneel in protest during the national anthem.

Grade 8
Writing
Memoir

by Laila, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

A memoir about losing a parent—and a community’s support.

Grade 8
Writing
When I Laughed the Hardest

by Diego, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

On the funniest day of this student’s life…

Grade 8
Writing
2.719 Million People

by Sebastian Cendejas, 826CHI

Informational
Narrative

A student reflects on how much Chicago means to them.

Grades 7–8
Writing
Life Puzzles

by Inge S., Age 13, 826CHI

Poetry

Part riddle, part observations, this poem leaves the reader with big things to think about.

Grade 8
Writing
Chicago is My Voice

by Kiara, 826CHI

Narrative

In this personal narrative, a student explores growing up young and black in Chicago.

Grades 8–9
Writing
Booking an Adventure

by William, 826LA

Memoir
Narrative

A teen discovers the power of books to transport him to another world, and shares his excitement about becoming a published author.

Grades 7–8
Writing
Manifesto

by Djeneba Soumaoro, 826michigan

Poetry

A student’s manifesto!

Grade 8
Writing
Protest for the People of Color / Protesta para la Gente de Color

by Roger, 826 Valencia

Informational
Persuasive

An essay in English and Spanish that traces connections between two movements in modern American history for the rights of people of color.

Grades 7–9
Writing
My Language

by Fahima Dahir, 826 MSP

Poetry

A poem about the strength and limitations of language and shared culture.

Grade 8
Writing
The Deadly Ivory Trade and What It’s Really Costing Us

by Piya, 826 Valencia

Informational
Persuasive

A demand to the public stop to buying ivory that seeks to explain the devastating effects of poaching on elephant and rhino populations.

Grades 5–8
Writing
The Great Achievement

by Marco, 826LA

Narrative
Playwriting

A screenplay about a plane crash and an epic journey to Mexico, with a twist!

Grade 8
Writing
Chaos in Antarctica! Millions of Penguins Dead!

by Luke, 826 Valencia

Informational
Persuasive

An essay shared in English and Spanish discusses the effects of global warming on penguins and their source of nutrients, krill.

Grades 6–8
Writing
The Crane in the Constellations
by Cartoon Network

by Alondra, 826CHI

Fantasy/SciFi
Narrative

An epic story of a princess who seeks acceptance among the stars.

Grades 7–8
Writing
The Wallet

by Isabella C., Age 13, 826 Valencia

Narrative

The misadventures of finding a missing wallet.

Grade 8
Writing
Wage Gap: Who Does It Affect?

by Xaria, 826 Valencia

Informational
Persuasive

An argument against the wage gap that prevails in the U.S. and across the globe.

Grades 6–8
Writing
Happy

by Evelyn Escamilla, 826 Valencia

Poetry

This poem uses metaphors and similes to describe happiness.