First Lady gets heated when it comes to school lunches
First Lady Michelle Obama says that she is willing to “fight to the bitter end” to ensure that the school lunch nutrition standards she helped draft stay in place — despite a Republican-drafted bill that would allow some school exemption. The First Lady lobbied for higher nutrition standards that went into effect in 2012 that called for more vegetables, fruits and whole grains in school meals, along with less fat, sugar and sodium. Over 90 percent of public schools in the U.S. have subscribed to the standards since their enactment.
The industry-backed School Nutrition Association is now pushing back against the standards, saying that less lunches are being sold because children do not want to buy the healthier lunches. This, in turn, hurts the food industry that supplies the ingredients to make school lunches — healthy, or otherwise.
A House of Representatives bill authored by Alabama Republican Robert Aderholt would give school districts the opportunity to skip the nutrition requirements for one year. According to Aderholt, the change came on too quickly and that schools need time to adjust.
The First Lady says it is giant step backwards and one that sends the wrong message about the nutrition provided in the nation’s public schools. In a New York Times piece, Michelle Obama said the attempt to “lower nutrition standards in our schools” is motivated by nothing more than financial tactics. She also made it known that she will fight loudly and aggressively to block the legislation.
The passion the First Lady brings to her anti-obesity initiatives is refreshing to see, and a strong use of her power for positive. She intends to keep the nation moving forward, not backwards, when it comes to feeding K-12 students in nutritious way.