News & Politics

Trump Administration to Roll Back Obama-Era School Lunch Rules

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement that the administration would roll back rules for school lunches that substituted some fruits and vegetables for less nutritious foods like pizza and french fries.

“Schools and school districts continue to tell us that there is still too much food waste and that more common-sense flexibility is needed to provide students nutritious and appetizing meals. We listened and now we’re getting to work,” Perdue said.

The changes were made on Michelle Obama’s birthday that some may choose to see as an insult to the former first lady. It was Mrs. Obama who promoted the healthy changes in the lunch menus — changes that the kids hated and resulted in mountains of food going to waste.

The Hill:

The proposed rules build on previous steps taken by the Trump administration to unwind the controversial school lunch rules championed by Obama as part of her “Let’s Move!” healthy living campaign. Those rules were implemented through an executive order signed by former President Obama.

Under the new rules, schools would be allowed to reduce the number of fruits and vegetables required at each meal. The latest change follows a 2019 rollback of restrictions on milk and sodium content in school lunches.

Critics said the change will pave the way for greasier, more unhealthy foods such as pizza, french fries and burgers.

No one can reasonably claim that Mrs. Obama’s menu changes weren’t healthier for kids, even though — kids being kids — the rules were subverted by students bringing in their own unhealthy alternatives.

Eat is all about choices. And critics of the new rules don’t want kids to have any.

“[It] would create a huge loophole in school nutrition guidelines, paving the way for children to choose pizza, burgers, french fries and other foods high in calories, saturated fat or sodium in place of balanced school meals every day,” Center for Science in the Public Interest’s deputy director of legislative affairs, Colin Schwartz, said in a statement Friday.

Note that these changes only “pave the way” for unhealthier alternatives. Schools still get to set their own menus, where many, no doubt, will choose not to include the greasy, salty food.

But the key here is that the rules will pave the way “for children to choose.” Will children “choose” to eat healthy? Some of them. Will they choose to eat unhealthy? Yes, some of them will. It will be up to parents — not the government — to teach children what to eat and why.

Apparently, this idea of “choice” doesn’t register with the food nazis.

In a recent op-ed for The Hill, Dr. Rachel Borton, the director of the Family Nurse Practitioner online program at Bradley University, said healthy school meals are essential to both good physical and mental health, especially for low-income students who are more likely to receive their only healthy meal of the day while at school.

“If those students don’t have access to the nutritious options provided by the school, they may turn to low cost, processed foods that are high in calories but sparse in nutrients. Immediate effects of this type of diet include weight gain and poor physical health,” Borton wrote. “Long-term impacts range from increased risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and a slew of other unfortunate health outcomes.”

The good doctor is saying that black kids are too stupid to eat well, so they must be forced into eating “correctly.” Put a Twinkie and a celery stick in front of a kid and which do you think they will choose? Government food advocates believe children shouldn’t even have that choice. And that’s the problem.