I interviewed First Lady Michelle Obama when she was first launching her campaign to get kids exercising and eating healthy. I’m sure she was well-intentioned, and I agree that childhood obesity is a serious problem, one that leads to chronic diseases that account for most of our out-of-control health care costs. And the CDC reports that for whatever reason, childhood obesity rates have finally started dropping. But one aspect of her campaign – the federal takeover and makeover of school lunches – is facing a nationwide backlash.

Parents are up in arms, saying their kids can’t learn because they’re so hungry. There is no provision in the guidelines to recognize the difference between a 250 pound linebacker and a 90 pound cheerleader…..There are two reasons for why a lot of these kids are ending up just plain hungry: the strict federal limits on fat, carbs and calories aren’t giving them enough food to fill them up, and many kids just won’t eat the food that’s being forced on them, like dark brown whole wheat bread and chocolate skim milk. All this hunger is the result of the ironically-named “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010,” which got Washington involved in local school cafeterias by providing federal funds in exchange for control over the menu.

Now, school boards across America are deciding that not even all that federal sugar can make kids swallow this gruel. Last week, angry parents swamped a school board meeting in Harlan County, Kentucky, to complain that their kids say the healthy federal lunches “taste like vomit.” And a school board near Schenectady, New York, voted unanimously to pull out of the federal lunch program, even though they’ll lose $150,000 in federal funds. They say it doesn’t improve kids’ nutrition to give them healthy food that they hate so much, it goes straight from the tray into the trash can. In other words, you can lead a kid to watercress, but you can’t make him eat. But maybe it did provide a valuable “teachable moment.” Adults learned that they need to make healthy food tastier to get kids to eat it. And kids have learned at an early age that just because the federal government tries to force something on you, that doesn’t mean you have to swallow it.

Comments 1-5 of 27

  • Real student

    06/08/2014 06:15 PM

    I am a real student,and I know what real food looks and smells like. The new "food"(for the absence of another word) is just plain bad.
    My god people! "If kids don't eat their food, they are not hungry" that's a remark someone made. We are hungry, but the food looks like pure $h*t!
    Eat some of it your self for a year First Lady Michelle!

  • Alex

    05/05/2014 06:43 PM

    I really hate all of this health changes. At school its all okay for me, but I hate some well known food companies are changing their recipes for a better nutrition. In my opinion its not what you eat but the amount of exercise. I remember reading a Time magazine article where a man ate nothing but mcdonalds but because he exercised every single day he stayed very thin.

  • Mike Smith

    04/04/2014 12:46 PM

    Michelle Obama is an idiot wrapped in a moron

  • Concerned Student

    10/08/2013 07:45 AM

    Being a high school student I know firsthand that the new food is disgusting. The only thing that needed to change with school lunch is the portion size. I am currently in journalism, and we have recently interviewed the head of our cafeteria. She admitted that the meant contains genetically modified soy beans. GMOs require massive amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, and genetically engineered foods have not been proven to be safe, but the few studies conducted don’t look so hot

  • Dakota Bovee

    10/03/2013 02:49 PM

    Being a high school student. i can agree the food tastes like vomit. Any one who disagrees has not had the "privilege" to eat the new school lunch. The schools are now ordered by this program to only allow one 3 oz packet of ketchup for a small almost Ethiopian portion of fries. Even getting a salad that the lettuce is like green soggy paper is ridiculous and you still only get one ranch packet.

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