While First Lady Michelle Obama has openly expressed her support to reduce calories in school lunches, students and teachers are protesting the new federal school lunch guidelines.
As a means to combat obesity, American public schools are offering healthier lunches. The new federal guidelines limit the amount of calories served in public schools nationwide. For children in kindergarten through fifth grade, students are served no more than 650 calories. For junior high school students, they are served 700 calories. Teens in high school are allotted no more than 850 calories.
The new policy raises the nutrition bar for the first time in more than 15 years. Schools must meet the new standards in order to get federal meal reimbursements.
However, both students and teachers are criticizing the new school lunch policy in a protest video called "We Are Hungry." Borrowing from the song "We Are Young" by the band Fun., students are openly expressing their dislike of the new school lunch mandate.
The video was produced by high school students and teachers in Kansas. It displays student-athletes collapsing because they are suffering from hunger. It also displays students stocking up on junk food as a way to thwart their starvation. The video has more than 200,000 views so far.
Though the new guidelines were set to improve school lunches, many officials are concerned. Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R) believes decisions regarding school lunches should not be made by the government but by school officials and parents.
According to Brenda Kirkham, art and publications teacher at Wallace County High School and the creator of the "We Are Hungry" video, one of the biggest problems with the new policy is that it reduces the amount of protein from meat in the meal from prior years.
Others in favor of the policy believe student who may need more food throughout the day can purchase additional snacks.