New School Lunches Leaving Kids Hungry
Michelle Obama spearheaded a campaign to make school lunches healthier, but while they may make kids more fit, it's leaving the kids hungry.
"We hear them complaining around 1:30 or 2:00 that they are already hungry," Linda O'Connor, a high school English teacher at Wallace County High School in Sharon Springs, Kansas, told ABC News. "It's all the students, literally all the students... you can set your watch to it."
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The new school regulations, passed in 2010, set a limit on the number of calories students could be served at lunch. Whereas high school lunches used to have a minimum of 825 calories per lunch, they are now limited to between 750 and 850 calories. Elementary schools are even less -- each packing between 550 and 650 calories.
Craig Idacavage, principal at St. Mark's Charter School in Colwich, Kansas, told ABC News that more than half of his students are opting for a bag lunch over what the school is serving, due to hunger complaints.
"I think they have a valid point and you can only hope that people will listen to them," Idacavage said.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa introduced legislation this month, called the "No Kids Hungry Act," to repeal the new lunch standards and calorie counts.
"Kids are of varying sizes, activity levels and metabolism rates," King wrote in a Des Moines Register op-ed. "How can we expect each child to flourish and grow on subsistence diets? This all because some are overweight."
But despite the kid's complaints, experts say that the new lunches should actually leave kids more full. They have double the amount of fruits and vegetables, and all bread served is now whole grain.
"It should be making kids fuller if they are actually consuming the whole product," Kristi King, a registered pediatric dietician at Texas Children's Hospital and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told ABC News. "If children are not picking the entire meal available to them they are obviously going to be hungry."
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