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First lady set to respond to school-meal critics

By The Associated Press

This article was published May 27, 2014 at 9:07 a.m.

WASHINGTON — First lady Michelle Obama is answering Republicans in Congress who want to roll back more healthful school meal standards, holding an event at the White House to highlight the success of the health guidelines.

The Tuesday event is an unusual move for the first lady, who has largely stayed away from policy fights since she lobbied for congressional passage of a child nutrition law in 2010.

Sam Kass, director of Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative to combat childhood obesity, said a Republican bill that would allow schools to opt out of the standards is "a real assault" on administration efforts to make foods healthier for kids.

Kass, who is a White House chef, said the event is an attempt to point out the successes of some schools that have implemented the standards, which were set by the Obama administration and Congress over the past several years. School nutrition officials from across the country will speak about how well the standards are working in their schools.

"She wants to have a conversation about what is really happening out in the country," as opposed to Washington, Kass said. "These standards are working."

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HOTDEMN says... May 27, 2014 at 12:19 p.m.

So the Republican Congress continues to harm Americas children in their continuing vendetta against the Obama administration. They've cut funding for after school programs, food stamp programs for unemployed and disabled veterans and their families, are hindering attempts to provide adequate healthcare for the poor and middle class, the list just goes on and on. They have no qualms about voting subsidies and tax breaks for the oil industry or removing safeguards from the banking and investment cartels. But let a kid in Arkansas have one healthy meal a day for $.45 ? Why they think that's positively Un-Amerikan . Come on you ditto heads, defend this one.

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djigoo says... May 27, 2014 at 12:26 p.m.

HOTDEMN, they don't care about the kids. You think Rush Limbaugh would share one of his seventeen daily sandwiches with a malnourished child?

Yeah, right.

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... May 27, 2014 at 1:03 p.m.

A lot of that ... health food ends up in the trash. It sucks and the children have said so by their actions.

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FreeSpiritMan says... May 27, 2014 at 2:19 p.m.

NOTE: This is not for consumption by the mind of dddk. Because he apparently does not understand the facts because they have not come from Fox News or World Net Daily or the Blaze.
We have not always been a nation in the midst of an obesity epidemic. In the 1960s and 1970s only 13 percent of U.S. adults and 5 to 7 percent of U.S. children were obese. Today, 17 percent of our children, 32 percent of adult males, and 36 percent of adult females are obese.
Too Many Kids Are Too Heavy, Too Young

Childhood obesity has been called “one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century,” and with good reason. (1)

Obesity can harm nearly every system in a child’s body—heart and lungs, muscles and bones, kidneys and digestive tract, as well as the hormones that control blood sugar and puberty—and can also take a heavy social and emotional toll. (2) What’s worse, youth who are overweight or obese have substantially higher odds of remaining overweight or obese into adulthood, (3) increasing their risk of disease and disability later in life.
The French have decided the teaching healthy eating routines to children is a priority, and they teach children about healthy food in the classroom AND the lunchroom. So I believe that some elements of the French approach (like their well thought-out approach to ‘taste training’ for kids) could definitely work here. (Note: it’s no coincidence that France has the lowest child obesity rates in the industrialized world–
By this it appears the French love their children much more than conservative republicans who cry "Give me Liberty or Death", the only problem they have not asked their children how they feel about it.

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FreeSpiritMan says... May 27, 2014 at 2:25 p.m.

I would be for getting the government out of the school lunch program if the states and cities would adopt a plane similar to this:
In my opinion, the French approach demonstrates what can be done by communities when food–and teaching children to love eating healthy food–is a priority. Note: unlike the United States, there is no national school lunch program in France. All of the lunches you’ll read about here are funded by local municipalities. Three-course (or even four-course) freshly-prepared hot lunches are provided to over 6 million French children in the public school system every day. Even without national subsidies, these meals cost, on average, $3 per child (and prices for low-income families are subsidized), not significantly higher than the lunches provided through the National School Lunch Program in the US. So the French don’t spend much more than we do, yet their kids eat seem to eat, on average, better than ours do–even in the smallest villages and poorest towns of France.
What say you conservatives? Do you like this idea?

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... May 27, 2014 at 5:04 p.m.

Well how many of those obese children are on welfare? We are not in France.

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Reason says... May 27, 2014 at 5:04 p.m.

The republicans are going to stand wherever "their money" is. No surprise here.
These are the same republicans that fought to make pizza count as a vegetable.
It's BIG MONEY called the FROZEN PROCESSED FOOD industries. And somehow Karl Rove thinks that republicans can score points attacking the First Lady's fight against childhood obesity.
BTW, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) receives its funding from Con-Agra, Domino's Pizza, Schwan Food Co., etc... Republican BIG MONEY!

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NoUserName says... May 27, 2014 at 6:04 p.m.

"About a quarter of 2-5 year olds and one-third of school-age children (including adolescents) are overweight or obese in the U.S. (Ogden et al., 2014). "
Fact remains, AGAIN, that is is a problem AT HOME. Providing a healthy meal at school, while admirable, will do little.

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LSS says... May 27, 2014 at 6:09 p.m.

Easting healthy is expensive!! Maybe Ms. Snooty BO I am better than you can eat her tacos and burgers but WE better eat healthy! She can afford to feed her family those expensive fresh fruits and veggies, but this middle class parent can rarely afford those $7 bag of apples. Just compound that cost for the schools. Now - figure that cost thrown in the trash. Mandate that ALL parents have their kids brown bag it, and let's see who all goes hungry at school.

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Populist says... May 27, 2014 at 8:25 p.m.


Kids spends much of their lives at schools. We need healthy lunches and an hour of vigorous exercise each day. We do not save money by being cheap with the next generation. Being overweight affects levels of happiness and the workings of the brain.

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