Michelle Obama Just Asked a Very Important Question About President Donald Trump's School Lunch Policy

May 12th 2017

Danielle DeCourcey

"Think about why someone is okay with your kids eating crap," former first lady Michelle Obama asked during an annual health conference on Friday. The comments are being seen as an obvious critique of the Trump administration's delay of Obama-era changes to the school lunch policy aimed at making food healthier.

One of Obama's main platforms as first lady was fighting obesity, and the Obama administration implemented new rules that would reduce the sodium content in school meals and require kids to eat more whole grains. However, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will delay the sodium requirement and offer schools waivers to avoid the whole grains requirement. He will also let 1-percent flavored milk back into schools.

Obama spoke at an annual health conference on Friday in Washington, D.C., and she said that this administration's reversal of the Obama-era rules reveals something important that American mothers should notice.

"Moms think about this. I don't care what state you live in. Take me out of the equation, like me don't like me, but think about why someone is okay with your kids eating crap," Obama said. "Because here's the secret, if somebody is doing that, they don't care about your kid. And we need to demand everyone to care deeply about our kids."

Purdue previously said that he's slowing down the process to re-evaluate the changes and make sure the food will still taste good enough for kids to eat it.

"We all know that foods can't be nutritious if they aren't consumed [and] if they're put in the trash." he told reporters on May 1. " We've got to balance the nutritional aspect, the sodium content, [and] the whole grain content, with the palatability."

Two studies found that kids are eating more of the whole grains and vegetables.

Obama's Health Hunger-Free Kids Act funded nutrition programs and set new nutrition standards. In 2014, a Harvard University study found that kids were eating more of their meals and choosing more fruit after the act passed. A 2015 study led by a University of Connecticut researcher analyzed the eating patterns of 500 school children and found that after two years there was a 19 percent increase in vegetable consumption.

School lunches are important.

The ability to eat nutritious food at school can have a direct impact on student performance, as students who don't get enough to eat are more likely to repeat a grade and experience behavioral problems at school. More than 30 million kids receive free or reduced price lunch at school, and many students rely on the meal as their only source for lunch, according to NPR. More than 13 million kids to go school hungry and one in five kids lives in a household with food insecurity.

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