The Trump administration chose Friday — Michelle Obama’s birthday — to announce plans to roll back some of the stricter nutrition guidelines for school lunches that the former First Lady championed.
The Hill reports: The new standards will allow schools more flexibility “because they know their children best,” the Agriculture Department said in a press release. 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.
More from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which is part of lawsuits against the Trump administration over previous changes to the school lunch standard:
The Trump administration proposal also would limit the variety of vegetables served at lunch and allow schools to reduce the amount of fruit served with some breakfasts. (If past is prologue, lobbyists for the potato industry likely have replacements in mind.) And this is hardly the Trump administration’s first attempt to weaken school nutrition. It earlier rolled back requirements for whole grains and sodium in kids’ meals—moves that are now the subject of two ongoing lawsuits by CSPI and partners and by a group of state attorneys general.
The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 has been called one of the most important obesity-prevention policy achievements in recent decades. Yet the Trump administration seems intent on sabotaging it. While there’s plenty of room to strengthen school nutrition further, these proposals instead are basically aiming a flamethrower at it.