Live. Love. Run. It's what I do.

Dear Michelle Obama, I’m Still Hungry

This weekend I got this amazing new headband that says “I run so I can eat” and I’ve been wearing it almost constantly since then! It describes my life!! I run. I eat. I go to school and sleep when possible, but basically I just eat and run and eat some more. If I didn’t run, I would get so fat because of how much I eat! But on the other hand, there’s no way I could run like I do without food to fuel me through the hard workouts. That’s why the new Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act that’s now being enforced in our schools makes me so upset.

Signed into law by the president in 2010 and encouraged by Michelle Obama, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 sets new regulations on school lunches, such as calling for more fruits and vegetables to be served, skim and 1% milk, and lower fat and sodium content.  I appreciate this effort to have healthier lunches. I love my grapes and carrots, I prefer skim milk to 2%, and I try to eat less fat and empty calories whether I am at school or at home. But then the act also sets the required number of calories to be between 750 and 850 calories, and no more than 12 ounces of protein (meat or meat alternative) per week. While this may be just fine for your average non-athletic student, every student is not the same! We do not all need the same amount of calories! I run cross country and when we have our 10 mile days, I’m burning 1000 extra calories at practice! I need my calories to get me through it and the protein to help my muscles recover! I should not be distracted in the middle of my run by my stomach growling since I didn’t get enough food at lunch! What about our football players or swimmers or volleyball players?? I’m sorry Michelle Obama, but this plan isn’t cutting it. We are unique. Don’t you encourage diversity? All students are not one-size-fits-all, and that applies to every aspect of life, including my lunch.

A school in Kansas made this video parody of Fun’s song “We Are Young,” titled “We Are Hungry.”

I believe they speak for all of us. We are hungry. We need food to get us through practice. If they don’t feed us enough healthy food at school, we will have to find something else, and there’s a good chance that it won’t be as healthy. Yes, keep the whole grains, the fruit and veggies, and the skim milk. Just give us more so we can make it through all 10 miles this afternoon.

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Julie Yip-Williams

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