Childhood obesity in America has been a hot-button topic for the last several years. First lady Michelle Obama spearheaded the Let's Move campaign with the goal of helping America raise a healthier generation of kids. President Barack Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 on December 13, 2010, getting the government officially involved in mandating ways for the USDA to directly help improve the nutrition of school lunches. Even though the goal is to help kids get healthy and become more aware of what they're consuming, the effort is receiving some backlash.
The nutrition guidelines set maximum requirements for school lunches as follows: 650 calories for elementary students, 700 calories for middle school students, and 850 calories for high school students. This was the first major overhaul of school meals in 15 years. Some students, particularly those who participate in athletic activities, say the new rules do not provide enough food to fuel an active kid.
Linda O'Connor, an English teacher at Wallace County High in Sharon Springs, Kansas, teamed with publications director Brenda Kirkham to write the song "We Are Hungry," to the tune of the song "We Are Young" by Fun, and they made a video parody featuring the song and starring students from Wallace County High. "We Are Hungry" starts with the lyrics, "Give me some seconds I, I need to get some food today," and in the video, students dramatize the downside of the new school lunch program and how it's leaving them with growling stomachs. One girl purposely falls down in volleyball practice, a boy is rejected by the school's lunch lady when asking for more food, another teen struggles to bench-press during a workout, and a number of students simply look lethargic throughout the video to try to get the point across.
So far on YouTube the video has gotten more than 250,000 views in just over a week. With all of the attention, a debate is brewing in the comments section. One person defending the new guidelines wrote, "Look at how kids in America grow to be obese. 750-850 calories is more than enough." A person in support of the students in the video wrote, "I have 2 teenage boys, 6 feet 2 both of them, and I've been hearing the exact same thing from them."
The debate will continue about school-provided lunches, but politics aside, the video has become a sensation.
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- President Barack Obama