The school lunch rules stemming from Michelle Obama’s quest to cure obesity are expanding. Despite attempts from Republicans in Congress to scale back the rules – with limited success – the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service has finalized new rules for American daycare centers.
According to the new rules, which will affect more than 3 million kids all over the country, daycare centers are now prohibited from giving kids fried food, honeyed yogurt, and more than one serving of juice per day.
“This final rule updates the meal pattern requirements for the Child and Adult Care Food Program to better align them with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010,” says FNS. “This rule requires centers and day care homes participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program to serve more whole grains and a greater variety of vegetables and fruit, and reduces the amount of added sugars and solid fats in meals.”
The problem with these rules is that they rely on science that is evolving very rapidly. Besides the ever-increasing role of the federal government in our schools, these dietary guidelines are troublesome in and of themselves. This is the same federal government that told us red meat and eggs were the primary culprits behind poor health and obesity. Then, long after everyone figured out that the low-fat diet craze actually made the obesity problem worse, the federal government finally admitted that they had missed the mark.
There’s no telling what kind of behind-the-scenes forces are pushing for the current set of guidelines. Always follow the money. There’s no doubt that our children are eating poorly, but is the problem really yogurt with a little bit of honey mixed in with it? Is the problem really a small snack of cereal at daycare? Not only are the guidelines suspect, the effect of the program at large is highly questionable.