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Junk Food Rules for Schools: Nanny State or National Security Risk?

December 14, 2016

I read a NYTImes article in yesterday’s paper describing the new Federal guidelines of junk food and immediately got a stomach cramp because I am 95% certain that these rules will go by the wayside as soon as Mr. Trump takes office in January. Why? Well this CBS report is exhibit one:

Trump himself hasn’t weighed in on school meal regulations. But Republicans, school nutrition directors and some in the food industryhave balked at parts of the administration’s rules that set stricter fat, sugar and sodium limits on foods in the lunch line and beyond.

While many students have now gotten used to the healthier foods, some schools still complain that they are costly and that it’s difficult to meet the standards.

“I would be very surprised if we don’t see some major changes on the school lunch program” and some other food issues, said Rep. Robert Aderholt of Alabama, the Republican chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees Agriculture Department spending.

And here’s what is especially sad about this: the students who need healthy food the most are going to be the least likely to get it. Schools that are located in affluent communities with parents who care about nutrition and wellness will insist on healthy meals while less affluent communities who take their signals from the USDA’s school lunch program will get fructose and french fries slathered in catsup— which, again, will count as a vegetable.

Those who criticize the “nanny state” that prescribes healthy meals to improve the well-being of youth today might want to talk to the US military branches who six years ago had to modify their standards to deal with the lack of fitness of incoming recruits. An administration hell-bent on engaging in warfare might want to think of school lunch as a national security issue. If they took the time to do research on the program, they’d find that it started because recruits in previous generations were not fit enough to join the military.

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