A new set of federal standards aimed at curbing teenage obesity puts a calorie cap on school lunches. The effort is a broad and largely progressive effort at addressing a burgeoning American problem.
Yet, this new solution is causing new problems of its own: It's keeping high school football players from getting the calories they desperately need to keep running.
As noted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, one Wisconsin school finally decided it had had enough, with football players leading a near school-wide boycott of the calorie-capped lunches provided, which are designed to keep the mid-day meal at 800 calories or fewer.
The school district in question, Mukwonago (Wis.) Independent School District, saw a boycott of the criticized "one-size fits all" lunch program at both the high school and middle school level. And one of the teens leading the charge is Mukwonago's star linebacker, Nick Blohm, who also happens to serve as a class president.
Blohm also stands 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds. Based on pre-school lifting regimens and after-school practices, Blohm requires some 3,000 calories just to get through the day without a major deficit and energy crash. He claims that much of the football team enters the afternoon practice already hungry, and that's before starting their biggest workout of the day.
For his part, Blohm plans to begin packing his lunch for school every day, at least until the lunches provided show a major improvement. Meanwhile, Mukwonago head football coach Clay Iverson said he was concerned about the lack of nutrition that his charges are getting during the day, particularly as workout regimens continue to become more advanced and involved year after year
"Everything has been accelerated, and maybe nutrition hasn't been," Iverson told the Journal Sentinel. "I wonder if the people who made the decision had to go through a day like Nick Blohm."