ISIS continues to act with brutal impunity, Russian President Vladimir Putin is brazenly asserting designs on all of Ukraine, tensions continue to simmer in Ferguson Missouri and economic inequality endlessly widens but don’t worry, Conservatives have got you covered on the issue that *really* matters…making sure that your kids school lunches aren’t too healthy.
As school returns across the country, new healthy standards are being implemented by schools as part of the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids act. With obesity levels and healthcare costs high, not to mention a pretty widespread belief that healthy kids are a good thing you would think that these standards would be a pretty uncontroversial affair. Unfortunately, you would be wrong.
Writing at the conservative National Review about the new standards, Ryan Lovelace laments that Chik-fil-a sandwiches can no longer be sold in South Carolina cafeterias and that Kraft Handi-Snacks Crackers and Cheese have too much sodium to make the cut as a snack. These sorts of critiques are also sometimes paired with some helpful Michelle Obama fat-shaming of the sort that I called out last week. Unfortunately undermining healthy school lunches isn’t just a pastime of pundits and columnists. Lawmakers are quietly taking steps to undermine the standards. House Republicans have authored a bill to relax the rules and tried to stick a provision into an ag spending bill that would have allowed some schools to opt out of the standards this year altogether. And don’t worry, the new healthy standards have to be renewed next year so I’m sure that won’t be a problem at all.
A group of 500 retired military leaders is concerned enough about the potential rollback of the new healthy standards that they’re headed to the Hill to lobby members of Congress. They see combatting obesity as a national security imperative given that three-quarters of young adults can’t serve in the military due in large part to obesity. I see healthy kids as just a pretty good thing in general but there’s also a good conservative argument that the federal government shouldn’t be funding salty, sugary school lunches that we then pay for again with rising healthcare costs. But why should conservatives bother with the minutiae of real policy when they get to what really matters in this crazy, unraveling world of ours, opposing the President, and in this case the President’s wife, at all costs, and if it means unhealthy kids, well that’s a small price to pay.