Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Trump Administration Rolls Back School Nutrition Standards

Popular
Trump Administration Rolls Back School Nutrition Standards
Steve Debenport / iStock / Getty Images

By Dan Nosowitz

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which is often attributed to both President Obama and Michelle Obama, instituted certain new reforms to the way the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers school lunch programs. Rolling back those reforms has been a major thrust of the Trump administration and Trump's USDA chief, Sonny Perdue. This week, the first of those rollbacks was announced.


The HHFK Act—we're just abbreviating for the sake of ease, it isn't usually referred to that way—was a multi-pronged effort to improve childhood nutrition. The best-known provisions included limiting milk to either one percent white or nonfat flavored milks; setting maximum limits for sodium, fat and sugar; and minimum limits for fruits, vegetables and whole grains. But it also instituted new funds and resources to help schools source more local produce, increased the number of eligible kids, increased access to water fountains, and cleaned up the way eligibility is run (by using census data rather than applications).

For years, Donald Trump has insisted that these rules are onerous and that more control should be given to the schools, which often operate under a strict and wildly inadequate budget. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue has said that kids may simply be uninterested in healthy options, and that forcing schools to offer them is thus a waste of money and effort. (This is not, according to some studies, true; this study, for example, found that increasing access to healthy food does in fact increase the intake of healthy food.)

This week, the USDA released a press release outlining some of the new rules, saying the new rules are designed to "eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens." The first wave of these new rules include allowing flavored one-percent milk and freezing the sodium reduction requirements. Under the HHFK Act, schools were supposed to gradually reduce sodium content over the course of the decade. The new rules delay that by seven years, which could simply signal that those sodium goals may never actually be required.

The HHFK Act has, despite statements from the Trump administration, been a success; school lunch participation is up, long-term budgets don't seem to be affected, and according to the USDA's research, schools have reached near-universal compliance with the rules.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.

A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.

Read More Show Less
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Sept. 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to boost clean energy while phasing out the use of coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators that are known pollutants and contribute to the climate crisis, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington comforts Marsha Maus, 75, whose home was destroyed during California's deadly 2018 wildfires, on March 11, 2019 in Agoura Hills, California. Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

By Governor Jay Inslee

Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.

In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.

Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch