First lady challenges GOP on relaxed school lunch standards - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

First lady challenges GOP on relaxed school lunch standards

Posted: Updated:
First lady Michelle Obama made a rare trip into the world of politics when she expressed her disapproval on a House bill to relax school lunch nutrition standards. (Source: CNN) First lady Michelle Obama made a rare trip into the world of politics when she expressed her disapproval on a House bill to relax school lunch nutrition standards. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - Michelle Obama has gone after House Republicans for considering changes to the nation's healthy school lunch policy.

She has been an advocate for getting children to eat better, but many in the GOP said schools are struggling to keep up with the new rules.

"It's unacceptable to me, not just as first lady but as a mother," Obama said.

The first lady sent the message to House Republicans who want to relax school nutrition standards she fought for four years ago.

"The last thing we can afford to do right now is to play politics with our kids' health, especially when we're finally starting to see some progress on this issue," she said.

The bill in question would give schools facing financial problems an extra year to comply with rules to limit fat and sodium, as well as encourage more fruits and vegetables. The House Appropriations Committee announced last week it would let schools opt out of the regulations via waiver.

Supporters of the legislation said some school districts are struggling to find cheap, healthy options and need more time to make sure kids will eat food from the new menu.

"We're not saying let's put junk food back on the serving line," said Julia Bauscher, president-elect of the School Nutrition Association. "For most districts that hasn't been part of the school meal in many, many years. But we want to make sure that students are comfortable with these changes and are willing to take what's offered to them and will find it acceptable and enjoyable."

It was a rare political push by Obama. She has become known for her Let's Move campaign against childhood obesity, her White House garden and her focus on healthy eating.

The change, if approved, would come through the 2015 agriculture spending bill.

"Parents have a right to expect their kids will get decent food in our schools, and we all have a right to expect that our hard-earned taxpayer dollars won't be spent on junk food for our kids," Obama said.

Copyright 2014 CNN. NY1 contributed to the report. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, Ga. 31906

FCC Public File
publicfile@wtvm.com
706-494-5400
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WTVM. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.