Michele Obama Clashes with Congress Over Nutrition Bill

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • In December of 2010, the House of Representatives passed the child nutrition bill. Michele Obama was understandably delighted and applauded the bipartisan effort. 

    The bill was sponsored by the First Lady and, despite bipartisan support, there was immediate criticism. Concerns were voiced regarding the price tag for the program as well as whether or not the government should be making decisions about nutritional requirements for our nation’s children at all.

    The bill expanded eligibility for school lunch programs, established the nutritional quality for all meals served in schools, and encouraged schools to use food that is locally produced. The reimbursement rate for each meal would be raised by six cents, marking the first time in over thirty years that Congress has increased funding for the school lunch programs.

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    Specific individuals began harping the term “nanny state,” but these are the same individuals who promised that “death panels” were tucked away somewhere in the Affordable Care Act. Whatever.

    Fast forward to June of 2014.

    Not So Fast Michelle

    The House Appropriations Committee voted to move forward on a 2015 agricultural spending bill that included a rider that would allow schools to opt out of nutrition rules that require greater amounts of fruits and vegetables, less sodium, and more whole grain products. The explanation is that some schools may be losing money providing healthier meals. Please keep in mind that many of those who support this bill are the same people who just last year declared pizza a vegetable because one of the ingredients is tomato paste. Excuse me for a moment while I massage my temple with my fingertips. Ah, that’s better.

    To say the least, the First Lady has curbed the enthusiasm she felt in 2010. She has denounced the current bill as unacceptable. Margo Wootan, the director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, agrees. Woontan believes if those who legislate were truly concerned about the health of America’s young people, they would not be in such a hurry to negate the current nutritional standards in favor of reintroducing junk food to school menus. But again, we must keep in mind that the director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest may be speaking to legislators who do not believe that science is a legitimate discipline.

    Maybe it’s just me, but haven’t political fiascos and political gamesmanship grown tiresome? If those who are supposed to create policy have no interest in promoting the health of our nation’s children because we might have to actually invest in those children then what have we become and where are we going? One answer might be a polarized collection of self-serving and callous saboteurs who do not care one bit about the concept of a social contract and are more than willing to drive the bus off a cliff,  but that’s just me again. Then again, maybe the age of mutual support is done and we are now all on our own.

    Living life well fed,

  • My Bariatric Life

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Published On: June 07, 2014