On Friday, the Trump Administration announced its proposal to further “rollback” the standards of healthy lunches that were put in place by former first lady Michelle Obama – on her birthday.
According to The Hill, the Agriculture Department addressed the changes in a press release to give schools a flexible option “because they know their children best.”
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdu said in the press release that food waste is still an ongoing problem, stating, “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.”
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Under the executive order from the Obama administration, the school lunch plan was started as the former first lady’s “Let’s Move!” healthy living campaign with the initiative to tackle childhood obesity and to provide healthier requirements such as fruits, vegetables, lower trans-fat, reduced-sodium levels, and the option of skim or low-fat milk.
Due to the new changes from President Trump, the new rules will give schools the liberty to “reduce the number of fruits and vegetables required at each meal” in addition to the previous rollback of milk and sodium restrictions in 2019, as stated in the article.
Juliana Cohen, a nutrition professor at Harvard University’s School of Public Health also commended Mrs. Obama’s efforts in The New York Times. She declared that “improved the diets of millions of children, especially vulnerable children in food-insecure households.”
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In an op-ed for The Hill, Dr. Rachel Borton, director of the Family Nurse Practitioner online program at Bradley University, said altering the standards of healthier options for students will lead to unhealthier choices.
“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. Long-term impacts range from increased risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and a slew of other unfortunate health outcomes,” Borton wrote.
The former First Lady has not addressed the proposed changes to her signature initiative.