Michelle Obama has pushed public schools to adopt new standards of nutrition with more changes coming later this year.
However, schools where children are rejecting these new mandates on what food is allowed to be served by cafeteria workers, officials are requesting that Congress and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) curb back the stringent rules.
While experts within the school nutrition departments agree that healthy choice should be offered, there is little concern for how some “accepted” foods contribute to unhealthy bodies – such as foods now mandated are high in sodium.
Officials in schools ask that changes be made to accommodate the needs of the children, such as:
• Getting students to want to eat whole grains
• Choosing foods lower in sodium
• Incorporating fruits and vegetables
• Offering healthy snacks
In 2013, the USDA released “Smart Snacks in School” that outlines federal standards for nutrition stands for “students, parents, school stakeholders and the food and beverage industries to implement the new guidelines, and make the healthy choice the easy choice for America’s young people.”
Caloric restrictions mandate that snack items can contain no more than 200 calories and entrees cannot contain more than 350 calories.
While low-calorie diets cause weight loss, they are also extremely dangerous because they decrease metabolic rates which throws the human body into survival mode and could lead to health problems such as heart disease, less muscle development, hypo-glycemic conditions; including the development of diabetes.
Caloric controls for school nutrition programs state that “kindergarteners to fifth-graders, lunches must contain 550 to 650 calories, and for ninth- to 12th-graders, lunches must have 750 to 850 calories.”
Tom Vislack, secretary for the USDA said: “Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. Parents and schools work hard to give our youngsters the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong, and providing healthy options throughout school cafeterias, vending machines, and snack bars will support their great efforts.”
The document entitled “Nutrition Stands for All Foods Sold in School” states that:
• All food sold in schools must meet proposed nutrient standards
• Contain 10% of national Daily Value nutrients for public health
• Sugar-free gum (which contains aspartame) is exempt from national standards
According to the Healthy,, Hunger – Free Kids Act of 2010, signed by President Obama, the federal government has charged itself with focusing on childhood obesity and hunger through controlling what is served in National School Lunch and Breakfast programs.
This $4.5 billion initiative was the brainchild of Michelle Obama and her Let’s Move! Campaign.
Michelle Obama has endeavored to:
• Create national health standards for children
• Admonish parents and caregivers for not following those guidelines
• Control what food is available in schools
• Bar access to food not approved by the federal government
• Demand that children participate in physical activity
Students protested this mandate by creating black markets in schools for items now outlawed by Michelle Obama.
Let’s Move! is Michelle Obama’s answer to “the problem of obesity” to be solved “within a generation”.
The federal government has deemed “common sense” rules for nutrition to be implemented by the Task Force on Childhood Obesity (TFCO) created by executive power so that governmental policies will control what Americans can eat should they participate in national public school food programs.