With new lunch guidelines in place from the USDA, students across the country are seeing major changes at their school’s cafeteria.
"Last year we used to have hamburgers everyday, we used to have fries every single day. Now, you might have a hamburger or chicken and apples. You have the choice of apples or grapes," said Mesa County School District 51 student Sierra Batchelor.
The reason for the change is a problem that continues to -- quite literally -- grow.
"The largest epidemic in our country right now is childhood obesity. One in three kids are obese," said Mesa County District 51 Food Services Director Dan Sharp. "Colorado used to be the leanest state in the union and it still is, but it no longer is in the lower BMI index. Colorado is now one of the faster growing states when it comes to childhood obesity."
While the "Let's Move" initiative has worked on getting kids to eat healthier, it's also meeting some serious resistance.
Before this report went to air, we asked your opinion on the matter on out KJCT News 8 Facebook page.
One viewer tells us, "It is sad that this is one of the main conversations in my house when (my) boys get home, the changes are so drastic, it is just plain sad."
Another viewer agrees, she says, "Both of my children go most days without eating, then come home starving. I can’t have my kids dropping weight like this because they cant stand the lunches."
The comments were harsh, but Sharp is taking the news in stride.
"For one negative comment there are 10-15 positive ones. Kids are being exposed to products they don't usually see," he said. "We’re staying the course. We realize in the short course there's going to some resistance and frustration that the food's not popular. We have wider range we're trying to affect.”
Students we talked to agree.
"I've seen it really good. I like it, it give me energy to do stuff,” said Wade Woodward.
“I haven't seen drastic weight changes, they're just not eating junk food. They have more energy, happier, more upbeat," Batchelor said.
Sharp says that's because of the kind of food the school district is serving. While the calorie content is similar, that's where the similarities end:
“It's around 650, but back when we were doing the concession style food, the calories were still around 650-750 calories. Even though calories might have dropped 50 here and there, the calories haven't changed. Now instead of calories coming from carbohydrates, its fruits and veggies, combined with the main dish of the day," said Sharp.
We would like to hear your opinion on the USDA’s new food guidelines. To keep the discussion going, find this report on our KJCT News 8 Facebook page.