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First lady Michelle Obama is fighting Congress to maintain the progress that has been made in the nutritional value of school lunches.
In 2010, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act was passed, providing healthier lunches in schools as part of an anti-childhood obesity campaign.
Unfortunately, the School Nutrition Association, a past supporter of the act, now claims that the new requirements have been financially detrimental to school districts because kids aren’t buying the new, healthier lunches, according to the Associated Press. For several Congress members, the solution to this problem is to make the now mandatory standards optional.
Since the implementation of the act, more than 1 million fewer students now purchase school lunches. "How can we call these standards a success when they are driving students away from the program?" Diane Pratt-Heavner, spokeswoman for the SNA, said.
Obama insists that we not “play politics with our kids’ health,” that just because the program isn't raking in the cash is not reason enough to take two steps backward on the road to resolving childhood obesity.
“Our children deserve so much better than this,” Obama writes in a column for the New York Times.
Though schools may be losing money, Obama cites that the United States spends about $190 billion a year on healthcare for obesity-related conditions.
“The bottom line is very simple: As parents, we always put our children’s interests first,” she writes. “Our leaders in Washington should do the same.”
Image courtesy of Michele Eve Sandberg/INFphoto.com