Michelle Obama blasted the Trump administration at the annual health conference in Washington, D.C. in May, for making changes to her 2010 “Let’s Move!” program she headlined to combat childhood obesity, which included regulations on school lunch programs.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced earlier this year that the Department of Agriculture would loosen the regulations that required school lunches to meet Michelle’s strict nutritional standards.
Perdue unveiled a new interim rule to suspend sodium reduction requirements and whole-grain requirements as well as allow 1 percent fat flavored milk back into school cafeterias nationwide.
“We’re not winding back any standards at all,” Perdue said. “We are just slowing down the process.”
Perdue recalled hearing from many students who have complained about fat-free and reduced fat chocolate milk offered in schools. In light of these “palatability issues” Perdue said he decided to make a change.
“This is not reducing the nutritional standards whatsoever,” he said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday announced a new rule set to take effect on July 1 after the period of public comment. The new rule relaxes sodium limits and Obama’s whole-grain requirements. The rule will also allow milk with one percent fat back on the menu, ABC News reported.
“Schools need flexibility in menu planning so they can serve nutritious and appealing meals,” Perdue said this week. “Schools want to offer food that students actually want to eat. It doesn’t do any good to serve nutritious meals if they wind up in the trash can.”
Perdue has been dismissing Michelle Obama’s signature school lunch rules all year.
“This is not reducing the nutritional standards whatsoever,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in May when announcing the Agriculture Department’s intention to bring chocolate milk back to schools. “I wouldn’t be as big as I am today without flavored milk.”
Perdue also slammed Obama’s rules as leading to too much waste. “If kids aren’t eating the food, and it’s ending up in the trash, they aren’t getting any nutrition — thus undermining the intent of the program,” he said.