Patch: Healthy Lunches May Leave Children Hungry
This summer, Congress approved new legislation that limits the number of calories children can eat for lunch at school. The new calorie maximums are broken down in three categories by grade: K-5, 6-8 and 9-12.
- Last year, the federal government recommended that a sixth grader receive a 785 calorie lunch at school. This school year, however, sixth graders have been served 700 calorie lunches.
First Lady Michelle Obama has pushed strongly against childhood obesity and is a big proponent of healthier eating in school cafeterias.
- The new calorie maximums have, however, sparked some controversy among the students themselves. Children have complained that the new food options leave them hungry and unable to successfully perform in class and in after-school activities.
- Some students have even created parody videos to express their hunger. "We Are Hungry," performed by high school students, highlights the students' exhaustion from not eating enough. "We are excited about being offered more healthy fruits and vegetables. We feel the protein and carbohydrate limitations, 10-12 ounces a week, are not enough fuel for our average very active student," the video description says.
- Many have also created Facebook protests to combat controlled diets in schools. Nutrition Nannies says, "Congressman Steve King (R-IA) introduced the "No Hungry Kids Act" with original co-sponsor Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-KS). The bill was introduced in response to recently released school lunch standards from United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) that have left children around the nation hungry during their school day due to extreme calorie rationing."
- Others agree that the law is flawed, and the "No Hungry Kids Act" introduced by Congressman King is a popular stance against the First Lady's Let's Move campaign.
- Regardless of protests and parody videos, though, the new Congress-mandated calorie limits still stand and as part of Michelle Obama's "Let's Move Campaign," children are eating smaller, healthier portions.
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