Food for Thought: How Will Trump Change Nutrition Programs?

By Jalonick, Mary Clare | Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), November 20, 2016 | Go to article overview

Food for Thought: How Will Trump Change Nutrition Programs?


Jalonick, Mary Clare, Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)


WASHINGTON - Will Donald Trump remake school lunches into his fast-food favorites of burgers and fried chicken when he's president?

Children grumbling about healthier school meal rules championed by first lady Michelle Obama might have reason to cheer Trump's election as the billionaire businessman is a proud patron of Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald's while promising to curb federal regulations.

The Obama administration has made healthier, safer and better- labeled food a priority in the past eight years, significantly raising the profile of food policy and sometimes drawing the ire of Republicans, farmers and the food industry.

In addition to the healthier school meal rules, the administration ushered a sweeping food safety law through Congress, pushed through several new food labeling regulations, started to phase out trans fats, added calorie labels to menus and suggested new limits on sodium in packaged foods.

"Food advocates are already nostalgic for the Obama era and will be playing defense for the next four years," said Sam Kass, a former White House senior adviser on nutrition and personal chef for the Obamas.

A look at some of the food regulations that could be tweaked in the new administration:

School meals

Trump himself hasn't weighed in on school meal regulations. But Republicans, school nutrition directors and some in the food industry have balked at parts of the administration's rules that set stricter fat, sugar and sodium limits, among other standards, on foods in the lunch line and beyond. While many students and schools have now gotten used to the healthier foods, some still complain that the standards are costly and difficult to meet.

"I would be very surprised if we don't see some major changes on the school lunch program" and some other food issues, said Rep. Robert Aderholt, of Alabama, the Republican chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees Agriculture Department spending.

Aderholt, who sits on Trump's agriculture advisory committee, said the Obama administration's approach was "activist driven" and people who voted for Trump are looking for a more common-sense approach. …

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