Trump revises nutrition standards

Administration retracts school lunch standards set by Obama



Michelle Obama made health in school children a priority as a part of her goals as First Lady.

Rachel Shogren, Health Editor

From the Myplate program to the Let’s Move campaign, Michelle Obama rallied for the importance of fitness and health among children during her tenure in the White House. However, Donald Trump is taking all of her effort and government money spent on nutrition away. The Trump administration recently announced its desire to remove regulations imposed by the Obama administration on food policy.

The Department of Agriculture imposed an interim rule that will reduce nutrition regulations for school lunches. It will remove standards on sodium reduction requirements, whole-grain quotas and it will allow for one-percent fat, flavored milk back in school cafeterias. These new rules will take effect during the 2017-2018 school year.

In 2012, the Obama administration released lunch standards that needed to be reached by schools in order to help children eat healthier and have a more fit lifestyle. The meal requirements were the first changes to the standards in 15 years.

Since the nutrition standards went into pace in 2012, republicans and farmers argued for lunch reform saying that the new requirements were too strict and too costly.

The institute of medicine helped develop the new regulations designed to help students maintain a healthy weight. The new standards were set to cost $3.2 billion.

The money was only part of the reason that Trump is beginning to cut nutrition programs. He claims that the meals aren’t actually nutritious because students are throwing too much of them away. “Kids are pretty outspoken about what they want to eat and what they don’t,” Trump’s new Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue said. He believes students are wasting the food because they don’t like it so he doesn’t see the point in trying to feed them healthy food if in the end it is just going to cost the government more money.

According to the USDA, the standards put in place for the 2012-2013 school year, known as the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, “ensured students were offered both fruits and vegetables every day, substantially increased whole grain-rich foods, offered only fat-free or low-fat milk, limited calories and ensured proper proportion sizes, and increased the focus on reducing saturated fat, trans fats, and sodium.”

Michelle Obama wanted to limit the amount of junk food that children consumed and ensure that they had a reasonably balanced diet. She didn’t want kids coming to school and eating the sugary, fatty, and salty foods that would form bad eating habits in their future. Better quality food was requested in order to help kids live not only a healthier lifestyle, but a more active one as well.

These new rules will impact the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that was run by Michelle Obama. She worked for years to get these nutritional requirements as a part of her campaign against childhood obesity.

Purdue heard several kids complaining about the fat free and reduced fat milk that was offered in schools, which is why he is bringing back flavored milks like strawberry and milks with more fat like one percent.

With Trump’s new relaxed regulations, kids are going to eat more like they did five years ago. They will consume the unhealthy junk food that was eliminated from schools by the Obama administration.

Although school lunch is the most significant change in Trump’s nutrition policy, he is starting to breach into adult malnutrition issues.

The United States spends $51.3 billion per year seeking to better nutrition in adults. According to The Hill, a malnourished adults health care costs increase by 300 percent. In order to prevent malnutrition, programs need to be in place to educate people about good eating habits.

Instead of finding programs to help the one-third of all hospital patients that present as malnourished, Trump is proposing major cuts to programs meant to help older adults. He has begun cuts to the Older Americans Act nutrition programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).

The Older Americans Act provided home-delivered meals to more than 2.4 million older adults each year through the Department of Health and Human Services.

It took 15 years for people like Michelle Obama to get the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act passed so that kids could prevent obesity and live healthier lives, although Trump got rid of it after five months.