America has an obesity problem.
A study that came out in mid-September predicts that by 2030, half of Americans in nearly all states will be obese.
Thankfully, the federal government is taking steps to improve the situation. They are small steps, but they are steps. One instance is the updated school nutrition standards, which have led to meals that are lighter on calories and heavier on fruits and vegetables.
Who could be against healthier meals for schoolchildren?
Two members of the House of Representatives.
In mid-September, House Agriculture Committee members Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, introduced the No Hungry Kids Act, which challenges calorie limits in the school nutrition standards.
The reps say the new school meals are often thrown out, lead to hungry kids in school, take nutrition out of the hands of parents and are a symptom of a “nanny state.”
These two reps are flat wrong.
Parents are still free in nearly every school to send meals with their kids for lunch and snacks giving them ample nutrition input. Any kid who doesn’t eat his or her school meal can’t rightly claim to be hungry.
And the new standards are based in solid nutrition data.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said the standards give students plenty of nutrition in the school day, and they are the result of the revised dietary guidelines for Americans.
There are examples of “nanny state” in government and in the public school systems, but healthier school meals aren’t one of them.
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