Ending Michelle Obama’s healthy kids initiatives, Trump’s new USDA regulations to allow for more fat and salt in school lunches
Anything the Obamas created while in the White House is surely slated to go on the chopping block by Donald Trump.
The latest proof is the scheduled cuts to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act backed by Michelle Obama in 2010. The act reduced the amount of sodium and trans fat that was added to school foods and increased healthy amounts of food by adding more fruits and veggies and whole grains to the menu, PEOPLE reports.
Under Obama, schools could only serve flavored milk if the milk was fat-free, under the new regulations, flavored milk can be low-fat. Additionally, the new rules would stipulate that only half the grains served have to be whole where before, it was required that all grains be whole.
Schools never have to meet the reduced sodium target Obama set and they don’t have to meet the metric that preceded Obama until 2025.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a press release on Thursday said the new regulations would “empower local schools with additional options to serve healthy and appealing meals.”
“If kids are not eating what is being served, they are not benefiting, and food is being wasted … We will continue to listen to schools, and make common-sense changes as needed, to ensure they can meet the needs of their students based on their real-world experience in local communities,” he said.
The new rules will be published on Dec. 12.
The American Heart Association disagree with Perdue, writing in a statement: “When it comes to our children’s health, there should be no ‘flexibility.’ Failing to meet the science-based sodium standards for school meals originally adopted by USDA will put kids’ health in jeopardy.”
The School Nutrition Association, however is on board, saying that the new rules might benefit kids who need it most since some 2 million children have dropped off the federal school lunch program rolls since Obama’s regulations took effect.
“This rule will entice more students to eat healthy school meals, which meet calorie limits and offer fruits, vegetables and milk,” SNA President Gay Anderson said in a statement.
On the other hand, Margo Wootan, Vice President of Nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, finds the new regulations troubling.
“This will mean that school lunches will fail to be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as is required by law,” she said in a statement.