If It Is Not Working What Should We Do?
Although First Lady Michelle Obama's goal of attempting to have our children eat healthier foods is admirable, what do we do if it does not appear to work and is harming schools in different ways.
Director of nutritional services for a school Omaha Nebraska recently said “I think we’ve gone too far, too fast,” and “And I don’t think it’s a real-world environment. We might have changed the school but we haven’t changed the child or our world.”
I am talking about the new snack rules that are a continuation of a federal school lunch overhaul in 2010 promoted by Michelle Obama as a means of combating childhood obesity. The new federal snack rules that took effect this year for school districts across the nation that participate in the federal free and reduced lunch program. They have the following restrictions, snack foods sold at schools must have at least 50 percent whole grain, with low sugar, fat and sodium content and each snack must also come in under 200 calories.
Now we have more than 1 million students who no longer buy school lunches because of these new restrictions. Worse is because of these new regulations we are also creating more than $1 billion in food waste annually. Why? Students are now forced to take fruits and vegetables they don’t want thus they just throw away and perhaps go on with their day hunger. Or more than likely the are sneaking in unhealthy snacks from home.
In many cases, public schools have lost so much money in lunch sales, school officials have opted out of federal lunch funding to offer students foods they’ll actually eat. Just last week, Illinois’ (the home state of the Obama's) second largest school district opted out of the National School Lunch Program, as did two New York school districts, among many others.
Also a South Carolina high school is now concerned about how they are going to fund their after-school tutoring programs which they state is in jeopardy due to reduced funding, which they state is a direct result of Michelle Obama’s junk food ban.
The South Carolina school system told The Greenville News it could lose $1 million in sales to food vendors because of the regulations and they have now asked for taxpayer money from the state to help them fill the gap.
So the question is not whether what the First Lady's goal was admirable but is it working or doing more harm then good?
What should we do about it?
Should we continue to go down that path because it needs more time or should we take a different approach?
Call me today on the "Live with Renk" show and let me know your thoughts. I am on from 9 to noon and the number you can reach me at is 269-441-9595.
I look forward to your thoughts.