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September 28, 2012

Eat your &@%$#! lunch!

Connie Matthiessen, Associate Editor

It turns out that some kids are angry about the new school lunch policy, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010  — promoted by Michelle Obama — which mandates more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains,  and limits total calories in school lunches.

Check out the popular new YouTube video, "We are Hungry" (below), which shows teens (and teachers) fainting in class, athletes sprawling flat in the gym, and young kids crawling home from school — ostensibly because they didn't get enough lunch.

The video, which was created by a teacher, is comical but the intent is serious — it's a direct attack on the new lunch guidelines (in the video, kids burn copies of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act).  Meanwhile, students around the country are protesting the new lunch policy, and some Republicans in Congress have introduced the No Hungry Kids Act, which would limit the calorie restrictions imposed by the new lunch guidelines. 

The childhood obesity epidemic

If kids don't like the new, healthier school lunches, what's the answer? Should we go back to unhealthy, high-calorie school meals (which, incidentally, kids complained about, too)?

Hello — we're in the middle of a full-throttle health crisis in this country: more than a third of U.S. adults are obese, one in three children in the U.S. is overweight or obese, and obese children are more likely to become obese adults. Obesity condemns people to shorter life spans and expensive, debilitating health problems including diabetes, stroke and heart disease. 

Even as kids complain that the new lunches are leaving them hungry, according to an ABC news report, students are throwing out twice as much cafeteria food as they did last year.  

There's something wrong with this picture: kids are complaining about being hungry — and throwing away more food than ever before. I'm sorry, kids, but it's time to stop complaining — and eat your lunch!

More on the school lunch debates from Jon Stewart.

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