March 20, 2013
We Are Hungry
It is a YouTube sensation. A video made by high school teens titled We Are Hungry is an exaggerated but necessary cry for a change. In the tune of hit song We Are Young the video depicts teens falling asleep during class and slumping to the floor during sports practices. As silly as the video gets at times it boils down to one thing. There needs to be a change. School lunches need to have more calories and bigger portions to support the growing bodies of the children and teens eating them.
New legislation passed in the US limits the calorie intake of school meals to 650 calories for elementary school, 700 calories for middle school and only 850 calories for high school students(Health and Family). These calorie levels are only a fraction of what active teens require for their daily intake. In a simple calorie generator found online, I plugged in my gender, height, weight, age, and exercise level to find out my recommended daily intake. My daily calorie need was 3800 calories. This number is fairly high for the average teen, who should be getting around 2,500 calories, but many other athletes require similar levels of energy to mine. Michelle Obama’s new lunch policy requires high school lunches to have between 750 and 850 calories. Using the recommended number given to me by the calorie generator, I found that the school lunches are less than 20% of my required daily intake. This means that at lunch, one of the bigger meals of the day, I am only getting 1/5th of my required calorie intake to maintain healthy energy levels and body weight.
Her policy also requires schools to provide more fruits and vegetables. This may seem like a good thing, and it is, but in the process of adding more fruits and vegetables to the menu they removed almost all of the higher calorie sides. Now, instead of having options such as...
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