Former first lady attacks presidents reversal of regulations to help improve school lunches: Think about why someone is OK with your kids eating like crap
Michelle Obama has made her strongest political intervention since leaving the White House, stating bluntly at a health conference: Think about why someone is OK with your kids eating crap.
One of the former first ladys signature legacies was an effort to reduce childhood obesity. Earlier this month, Donald Trumps administration froze regulations that would cut sodium and increase whole grains served in school meals.
We have a lot more work to do, for sure, but weve got to make sure we dont let anybody take us back because the question is, where are we going back to? Obama told a Partnership for a Healthier America summit in Washington.
This is where you really have to look at motives, you know. You have to stop and think: why dont you want our kids to have good food at school? What is wrong with you?
The remarks prompted cheers and applause from a packed hotel ballroom. Seemingly liberated from her official role, Obama was by turns combative, exasperated, feisty, incredulous, passionate, peeved and sardonic.
The 53-year-old demanded: And why is that a partisan issue? Why would that be political? What is going on? You know, now thats up to moms. Moms, think about this. I dont care what state you live in. Take me out of the equation. Like me, dont like me, but think about why someone is OK with your kids eating crap. Why would you celebrate that? Why would you sit idly and be OK with that?
Because heres the secret: if somebody is doing that, they dont care about your kid, and we need to demand everyone to care deeply about kids. Thats all we have. So we should be driving this and every elected official on this planet should understand: dont play with our children. Dont do it.
Along with the delay in nutrition standards for school lunches announced by the US agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue, the Trump administration has also postponed rules instructing restaurants, grocery stores and other outlets to put calories counts on their menus.
Evidently riled, Obama continued: You shouldnt know what youre eating. Think about that. Stop there, think about that. You shouldnt know what youre eating. Youre OK with that? Do you know people who are OK with that? I mean, I just find myself thinking, this isnt my fight, you know, this is where youve got to look yourself in the eye.
We need to look our neighbours in the eye and kind of go: What is going on? Because this just isnt that complicated, you know. Just tell me whats in my food. Why is that a problem? So you have to ask yourself, whats going on, because I dont get it. I dont understand it.
Sam Kass, a former White House chef and senior policy adviser for nutrition who was interviewing Obama, noted suggestions that an update on nutrition facts labels on food packages could also be slowed.
Obama interjected, with sarcasm: Keep families ignorant. Thats all Im hearing. You dont need to know whats in your food. You cant handle that, Mom. Just buy this, be quiet, spend your money, you buy this, dont ask us about whats in your food, you know. How does that feel? How does that feel? This isnt information that you should know. We shouldnt change a label to make it clearer and easier for you to just break down what youre buying.