U.S. News


FLOTUS Goes After Lawmakers Over Child Nutrition Bill

First Lady Michelle Obama said some Republican lawmakers are threatening the healthy school lunch guidelines, which some say are too restrictive.
Posted at 11:03 PM, May 27, 2014

Michelle Obama is not a politician, but that didn't stop her from getting political Tuesday. She went after conservative lawmakers who've drafted legislation to scale back her healthy school lunch standards. 

"This is unacceptable. ... The last thing we can afford to do now is play politics with our kids' health." (Via The White House)

The First Lady made those comments at a White House meeting with school leaders and experts on nutrition. While Obama said 90 percent of schools across the country are meeting nutritional standards, she said those standards are being threatened. 

Her comments follow the House Appropriations Committee's release of 2015's agriculture bill, which will allow poorer schools to waive standards in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, also known as the child nutrition bill. 

CNN explains that bill, which was signed by President Obama in 2010, was meant to provide "more money to poor areas to subsidize free meals" and "help offset the higher cost of including more fruits and vegetables." 

But The New York Times writes some food companies and some Republican lawmakers, like the House bill's author Representative Robert Aderholt, believe the standards are "inflexible, ineffective and expensive." And the School Nutrition Association — which represents school nutritionists nationwide — agrees, calling the guidelines "overly prescriptive." 

Opponents of the school lunch guidelines also say "plate waste" is a recurring problem. Kids are reportedly getting trays of those healthier foods, then turning around and throwing them away. (Via The Washington Post)

The Washington Post reports the full House Appropriation Committee is expected to vote on the waiver proposal for cash-strapped schools Thursday.