It was impossible to imagine at one time that a first lady would be roundly attacked for her initiative to improve the health of millions of children, but when President Obama took office, GOP voters and Fox News found a way to be outraged by his wife’s Let’s Move! health initiative to combat childhood obesity.
Trump admin decides to make school lunches less healthy for kids and not follow basic transparency laws in changing the rules@NewYorkStateAG Tish James sues because our kids’ health is our future.https://t.co/8gUFcrg03J
— Anna Brower (@ab2788) April 3, 2019
The requirements to cut salt and serve more whole grains was met by Obama critics as dictatorial, and they had much to say about the unappetizing food served in school lunch cafeterias. None of them thought to back increased funding for schools in order to improve the menu while keeping it healthy; instead, they complained bitterly and Trump finally responded by waiving the requirements. Now, he’s being sued by seven states for failing to allow them to weigh in on the decision, which is required by Congress.
According to Bloomberg:
‘The suit, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, claims the U.S. Agriculture Department implemented a final version of the national guidelines for breakfasts and lunches in schools in 2018 without giving states a chance to weigh in as required by Congress.’
BREAKING: We're leading a multistate coalition in suing the Trump Admin & USDA for gutting key nutrition standards for school lunches.
The revisions weaken key federal nutritional standards for meals served to nearly 30 million schoolchildren across our nation. pic.twitter.com/eKBDX3Ui64
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) April 3, 2019
The initiative to improve the health of children was put into place to respond to the growing childhood obesity crisis. Childhood obesity rates have tripled since the 1970s thanks to the carbohydrate-laden foods that are cheap to buy.
Trump’s secretary of agriculture responded by saying that increasing the sodium content and reducing whole grains would allow children to eat healthier because this is the same administration that believes snow in New York City means climate change isn’t real.
‘Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has eliminated the final maximum sodium target that was scheduled to take effect in the school year beginning in fall 2022, and cut in half the amount of whole grains required to be served starting in fall 2019, according to the complaint. Perdue said the change would make meals more palatable and keep kids from turning to less-healthy options.’
"The Trump Administration has undermined key health benefits for our children — standards for salt and whole grains in school meals — with deliberate disregard for science, expert opinion, and the law."
MORE: https://t.co/jksAbHSSjk https://t.co/CMH8DVuS17
— KTUU.com (@Ch2KTUU) April 3, 2019
Children from low socioeconomic backgrounds are most at risk of obesity and its health-related illnesses. Many of those children eat the majority of their meals at school. Attorney General of New York Letitia James said that the Trump changes “significantly weakened the nutritional standards,” making poor children the losers in Trump’s quest to roll back everything Obama ever touched.
‘Last year, almost 30 million children — mostly from low-income and minority families — ate about 5 billion school lunches while more than 14 million children ate school breakfasts, according to the complaint. Three-quarters of the lunches and 85 percent of the breakfasts were provided for free or at reduced prices.’
The lawsuit comes after the Trump administration scaled back contested school lunch standards implemented under the Obama administration, including one requiring that only whole grains be served.https://t.co/Z9HAHY1MQc
— KOB 4 (@KOB4) April 3, 2019