Each first lady has adopted a cause to focus on. Michelle Obama decided to try making a difference in childhood obesity. In changing the guidelines for school lunches across the nation, there are people who believe that she created healthy change — and others who think that she just ended up creating a whole lot of waste.
You can feed children whatever nutritious food they like, but if they won’t eat it, it isn’t nutritious at all. A lot of the food that was suddenly being put on school lunch plates across the nation ended up in trash cans without being touched, and picky eaters who needed the school lunch resources ended up going hungry.
The Trump Administration is following through with their campaign promises in many fields and areas. Trump believes deregulation is the key to boosting the economy, ramping up ingenuity in America, and restoring the American dream. It isn’t just environmental and corporate regulations that he is taking aim at; his administration is also taking a second look at the changes made by the administration before him.
Last Monday Trump announced that they were going to change food regulations in two ways: school lunches and mandatory calorie labels added to menus. Sonny Perdue, the new Agricultural Secretary, announced last week that the mandate to reduce sodium levels in school lunch programs will be on hold, and that they are going to allow schools to once again serve grains that aren’t labeled as whole-grain.
Purdue insists that changing school menu regulations has done a disservice to growing children. Since they won’t eat the food that is put in front of them, making it even less appealing is only going to waste more food and have many more children going hungry, which isn’t acceptable. That made nutritionists supporting school lunch overhauls incredibly angry — and likely made Michelle Obama angry, too.
Those who support the proposed changes insist that just because children might not want to read, it doesn’t mean that you change the curriculum so that they no longer have to. Questioning who is really in charge, those who want the measures to stand believe that giving up isn’t doing childhood obesity’s soaring rates any good — or any good for the overall health of the nation, either.
Proponents of returning the school lunch menu regulation to what they were have lobbied that more flexible standards need to be adopted for school lunches. Although they want to make more nutritious options available for kids, the problem is that if a child doesn’t eat, you aren’t doing anyone any good.
Also at issue is whether chain restaurants should be required to put calorie counts on menus. The mandate was supposed to take effect May 5th of this year, but it was announced that the FDA will not be pushing the measure or implementing it until May of next year. Many wonder if it will ever go into effect at all. As a measure of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, calorie counts became mandatory for the health of the public at large.
The belief is that if people knew how many calories are in full meals like, pizza from pizza warmers, they might choose a healthier alternative. The rationale would tell anyone that people already know that a Big Mac from McDonald’s isn’t good for you. They don’t need it splashed all over the menu.
That isn’t giving people the information they need; that is shaming people about what they eat, which isn’t helping anyone. It isn’t that the calorie information shouldn’t be available, but forcing it down the throats of people who just want to indulge in a guilty pleasure once in awhile hardly seems to be the American way. It puts the onus on more regulation, and in the end — according to the Trump Administration — it’s just another way to gum up the system.
The reality is that if you don’t already know that McDonald’s food might not be the best nutritional choice, you have likely not turned on a television, a computer, or seen anything coming from the media for decades. Putting food labels on everything and limiting children’s food choices isn’t doing much for their health — it might be actually working against it. If children aren’t getting the nutrition they need at home because they are impoverished but they won’t eat at school, it is tantamount to starving children from the one meal that they have.
And if someone isn’t aware that fast food isn’t very good for them, that is of their own choosing. Americans have the right to know what they are eating and the calorie count, but the government might not have the right to make decisions about what we can or can’t — or what other people’s children can or can’t — eat.