GOP lawmaker: Obama school lunch rules like 'The Hunger Games'

A Republican House member is comparing Obama administration school lunch rules to the world of "The Hunger Games," the best-selling dystopian fiction trilogy.

In a press email Thursday, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) touted a YouTube video made by Kansas high school students parodying "The Hunger Games" film and tying its portrayal of despotic government to the new federal nutrition standards.

Huelskamp has co-sponsored a House bill to repeal the rules, which set calorie limits on school lunches and promote nutritious foods as part of the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. 

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"It is an exciting and creative display of activism to see students across Kansas and across the nation point out the flaws in the Obama administration's new mandates," Huelskamp said in a statement.

"Students like these — in consultation with their parents and their school administrators — should be trusted to make their own decisions about what will be served in cafeterias and what they will eat."

The YouTube video, from students at Rolla High School (RHS) in Rolla, Kan., shows students fainting in the halls and begging each other for scraps of food. It had 4,670 views on Friday afternoon.

In one part, a student portrays "Hunger Games" character Effie Trinket, an eccentric woman who draws names from District 12 for the book's eponymous contest, in which children battle to the death.

"Welcome, welcome to the 2012-2013 school year," the student says, echoing a speech given by Trinket in the movie. "As ordered by the regime, you are going to receive less portions and you're going to be expected to do more — because you are fat."

Later, the video argues that the new lunch standards are insufficient for student athletes, who must consume more calories.

"The new lunch program limits high school students to a meal of 850 calories, which leaves many students feeling sluggish during the day and leaves athletes [without] the full amount of energy to fuel them through practices after school," RHS said in a statement on its website Thursday.

The Obama administration backed the guidelines as part of its fight against childhood obesity.

"We are going full steam ahead to making sure that the school day is healthier," Agriculture Under Secretary for Food Kevin Concannon told reporters in August. "These are the first major changes to school meals in 15 years. They are much needed and long overdue."

First lady Michelle Obama was another major advocate for the policy, arguing that kids should get "the same kind of food we would serve at our own kitchen tables" at school.

The bill to repeal the standards was authored by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).