Congress: Stop playing politics with Kids' Health

As the United States struggles with one of the highest country-wide obesity rates in the world, it would seem that improvement to nutrition in school lunches would be a candidate for unopposed reform. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Schools Act (HHFSA) of 2010 has generated positive response (in the form of higher test scores and rates of participation and graduation) from schools that have implemented improved nutrition guidelines. However, an agriculture spending bill approved by a House of Representatives subcommittee last week would permit schools to waive the new nutrition standards if they have a net financial loss on school food programs for a six-month period. Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), who authored the bill, said he was responding to requests from school food directors.

First Lady Michelle Obama ardently spoke out against the proposed bill this week, saying any legislation counterproductive to the HHFSA is “unacceptable.” She went on to say that “the last thing we can afford to do is play politics with kids’ health.”

The Earth Day Network team supports Mrs. Obama in her opposition of Congressman Aderholt’s bill. The United States has more important issues to deal with than arguing over a bill with successful results and a well-intentioned purpose. If you want to take action on this issue, you can sign a petition against the counterproductive bill here.

Author: Ben Criswell, EDN Intern