Sunday, December 9, 2018

Let Them Eat Junk Food

You recall the Obama administration’s plan to force schoolchildren to eat healthy foods. If not, here is the Daily Mail description:

The 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was championed by Michelle Obama and became a rallying cry for her critics after it set school lunch maximums for calories, cut sodium and artery-clogging trans fat, and required more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

You also recall that when schools started serving grass and twigs for lunch, children simply went on strike. They refused to eat the organic produce and the fat-free pasta. As a result, a massive amount of food was thrown away… enough to feed most the starving children in underdeveloped countries. The children were hungry and, to compensate they headed off to pizza parlors and McDonalds after school.

As for the results of the program, childhood obesity did not fall. It got worse, especially in the targeted minority communities.

The Daily Mail has the story:

Now, however, it appears that childhood obesity has been steadily climbing for both boys and girls since 1999, researchers report in Pediatrics.

More recently, there has also been a sharp increase in severe obesity among kids 2 to 5 years old.

'Obesity is not going away, and all kids are still at risk,' said lead author Asheley Cockrell Skinner of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

And also, from the journal Pediatrics:

A separate study in Pediatrics focused only on the 2.1 percent of children ages 2 to 5 with severe obesity and found these kids were more likely to be from racial or ethnic minority groups.

Compared with white children, Hispanic kids this age were more than twice as likely to be obese, and African American kids had 70 percent higher odds, this study found.
Young children also had at least twice the odds of obesity when they were poor or had parents who were single or had limited education. Children who weren’t breastfed were 50 percent more likely to be obese, the study also found.

Kids who were severely obese also had twice the odds of spending four or more hours a day in front of screens, compared to non-obese children.  

Yet again, we see the deleterious effects of having supposed experts implement policies designed to force people to behave the way the experts want them to behave. No one considered that a certain quantity of cholesterol is not necessarily a bad thing, or that children might choose not to eat the wholesome organic food they were being force fed. Because they, like must humans, do not like it when they are forced to do things they do not want to do.

Anyway, the program is now being rolled back by the Trump agriculture department:

President Donald Trump’s administration on Thursday relaxed rules championed by former first lady Michelle Obama aimed at making U.S. school lunches healthier, a move that will affect institutions that feed 30 million children annually.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, delivering on a promise he made when he took office in May 2017, said schools under the current rules faced challenges serving meals that were both appetizing and nutritious.

'If kids are not eating what is being served, they are not benefiting, and food is being wasted,' Perdue said in a statement.

Yes, indeed, the children were not eating the food. So, the Trump administration, in clear defiance of the expertise of experts, is giving the children something they might want to eat.

Among them, refined grains. You may not know it but whole grains are so much more wholesome that we must force children to eat them, even if they do not want to. Now, refined grains are back, in pasta, pizza and tortillas:

Under the new rules introduced by the Trump administration, the U.S. school lunch program is making room on menus again for noodles, biscuits, tortillas and other foods made mostly of refined grains.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday only half the grains served will need to be whole grains, a change it said will do away with the current bureaucracy of requiring schools to obtain special waivers to serve select refined grains foods.

And schools will now be able to serve chocolate milk… that notable artery clogger. In a compromise, the schools will only be allowed to serve low-fat chocolate milk:

Low-fat chocolate milk will also be allowed again.

Previously, only fat-free milk could be flavored, although that rule had also been temporarily waived.

A final goal for limiting sodium will be scrapped as well, but schools will still be required to meet reduced sodium targets.

Hasn’t there been a debate in the biochemistry field about whether butter and eggs are really responsible for coronary heart disease? Once upon a time everyone was giving up on butter and eggs, because experts recommended that they do so. Now, if I recall correctly, expert opinion has done an about-face, and allows these foods. Besides, what with all the whining about whole grains, organic vegetables and inorganic fruits, did anyone give any thought to the importance of protein for growing bodies?

The Daily Mail reports on the social media reaction:

Reaction on social media was divided. Some said that Michelle Obama's reforms did not succeed, while others say they were necessary.

'I had a salad bar in HS before the Michelle [sic] Obama's plan went mainstream! Our food literally turned to crap afterwards,' tweeted Hunter Mayberry.

'Yeah, reversing an initiative to make food more nutritious will definitely make the food taste better,' Kat Hamilton tweeted sarcastically.

'Oh thank God,' tweeted one Twitter user. 'If you want your kids to eat that "balanced" nonsense then you be a parent and make your kids lunch.

'It is more important to do physical education and get your kids off the tablets. Was never an issue til now. Why is that?'


Dr. Irredeemable Dreg said...

It's interesting that the fattest kids are the ones most likely to "suffer from hunger" and qualify for "free" public school food. More research is needed.

When I was a kid, I took my lunch to school every day and bought a pint of milk. Whole milk. There were no vending machines in the building. Cafeteria - i.e., mass-produced - food sucks, always and everywhere. I refused to eat the mystery meat, limp vegetables, and vulcanized Jello served up by culinary acolytes of Henry Ford.

Sam L. said...

It's the old story of "you can lead a horse to water...".

Deana said...

I hardly know where to begin here.

1. If Michelle O had REALLY wanted to improve nutrition and reduce obesity in our pediatric population she would have advocated for a major overhaul in what those on public assistance can buy with tax payer dollars. She did not because her husband needed to keep millions of people dependent on people like them.

2. Why do progressives always start at the wrong end of the problem they say they want to fix? Michelle never even hinted at the amazing coincidence of when childhood obesity first started to become a problem and the rise of women going into the workforce and single motherhood. Could it be that working women are just too exhausted after being in the office all day to plan and prepare healthy meals when they are still doing all the laundry, cleaning the house, running kids to school and lessons, and trying to be a wife? Better not to point out be obvious - progressives depend on those exhausted women to vote for them.

3. For sixty years, progressives have assured us that we need to listen to the children, that their little bodies will tell them what their bodies need for nutrition, and that it is utter abuse to make a child eat food they don’t like. So the tail has wagged the dog for over half a century and we are amazed at the rise of obesity and diabetes?

When I was a child it would have been unthinkable to tell my parents I wasn’t going to eat what they had purchased and prepared for me. I am almost 50, am not obese, have no heart disease and no diabetes. I also love to try new foods and cook. And I make sure my husband has nutritious meals ready for him at home and for his lunches.

This stuff takes time and work but it is worth it. Having the government force this on people is expensive. It is too late in the game to fix that problem and it won’t work because the CAUSE of this problem is not being addressed.