Advocates Blast Trump Administration’s Proposal To Loosen Obama-Era School Lunch Nutrition Rules
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the proposed rules would give schools needed flexibility, but critics say that loosening restrictions creates a loophole that will lead to kids having less nutritious options.
More Pizza And Fries? USDA Proposes To 'Simplify' Obama-Era School Lunch Rules
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed new rules for school meals aimed at giving administrators more flexibility in what they serve in school cafeterias around the country each day. For instance, instead of being required to offer higher quantities of nutrient-dense red and orange vegetables such as carrots, peppers and buttternut squash, schools would have more discretion over the varieties of vegetables they offer each day. In addition, students will be allowed to purchase more entree items as a la carte selections. (Aubrey, 1/17)
USDA Proposes Allowing 'More Flexibility' In School Lunches
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement, "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." (Sullivan, 1/19)
The New York Times:
Trump Targets Michelle Obama's School Lunch Program On Her Birthday
A spokeswoman for the department said that it had not intended to roll out the proposed rule on Mrs. Obama’s birthday, although some Democratic aides on Capitol Hill had their doubts. Food companies applauded the proposal, while nutritionists condemned it, predicting that starchy foods like potatoes would replace green vegetables and that fattening foods like hamburgers would be served daily as “snacks.” “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,” Sonny Perdue, the agriculture secretary, said in a statement. “We listened and now we’re getting to work.” (Fadulu, 1/17)
USDA Changes Obama-Era School Lunch Rules, Citing 'Flexibility'
The USDA said the rules build upon its 2018 changes, which relaxed sodium limits and whole grain requirements in the National School Lunch Program and brought back 1 percent flavored milk. Nutrition groups, as well as a coalition of states, sued the department over those rules, arguing that they put children's health at risk and undermine nutrition science. (Crampton, 1/17)
The Wall Street Journal:
USDA Proposes Relaxing School Lunch Healthy Eating Rules
Some consumer-advocacy groups said the changes would give students more leeway in choosing pizza and burgers over balanced meals. “This would create a huge loophole,” said Colin Schwartz, deputy director of legislative affairs at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a group that is suing the USDA over its prior moves to roll back health requirements for school food. (Gasparro, 1/17)