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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Keeping the U. S. schoolchild fat and unfit

Fox News, and a number of other outlets, report that a conference committee of the U. S. Congress removed several excellent suggestions from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, relating to school lunches.

Among other provisions removed were some which would have lowered the amount of french fries and pizza served, made it illegal to count the tomato sauce on a pizza as a vegetable, and lowered the salt content. All these provisions would have made school lunches, and our school kids, healthier.

As Fox News reported: "A group of retired generals advocating for healthier school lunches also criticized the spending bill. The group, called Mission: Readiness has called poor nutrition in school lunches a national security issue because obesity is the leading medical disqualifier for military service." The statement by the retired generals (and other military types) is here.

Oh, dear. And why did the conference committee do this? One reason given by legislators was to stay away from adding regulations to local school districts. One reason not given was pressure from food companies that would have been affected by the changes proposed by the USDA.

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