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American Heart Association Blasts Trump’s Roll Back Of Michelle Obama’s Health School Lunch Standards


American Heart Association Blasts Trump’s Roll Back Of Michelle Obama’s Health School Lunch Standards

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Friday that newly minted Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) will unveil a new rule Monday aimed at giving schools more flexibility in meeting federal nutrition standards for school lunches, reports The Hill.

Republicans have long been trying to dial back the standards that became a pillar of former first lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to curb childhood obesity in the U.S.

Roberts introduced legislation with Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) last year to give schools two more years to meet new reductions on sodium, but the bill never passed.

The American Heart Association blasted the Trump Administration’s decision in a statement from the group’s CEO, Nancy Brown.

“Improving children’s health should be a top priority for the USDA, and serving more nutritious foods in schools is a clear-cut way to accomplish this goal,” she said, adding that the current standards are already working and that 99 percent of schools are in compliance.

“Rather than altering the current path forward, we hope the agency focuses more on providing technical assistance that can help schools get across the finish line, if they haven’t done so already.”

The 2010 “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” legislation spearheaded by Michelle Obama and her “Let’s Move!” campaign, was implemented in cafeterias across the country at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year. The law was aimed at improving nutrition and reducing child obesity and authorizing funding for federal lunch programs.

It called for more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk products and less sodium and fat, and awards additional funding to schools that meet the standards.

“The talented people who cook the food at your school will be offering you all kinds of healthy, delicious new choices. Foods that are good for you and taste good, too,” then-first lady Michelle Obama said in a “back-to-school” message at the time. “It’s about ensuring that all of you have everything you need to learn and grow and succeed in school and in life.”


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