On A staple of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s legacy that she likes to brag about is her initiative of cramming down ‘healthier’ food on school lunches via the federal government. She should not be bragging about it because it was a massive flop.
Here are three reasons Michelle Obama’s school lunch program is a failure:
Childhood Obesity Is Still An Issue On The Rise. With childhood obesity reportedly rising sharply since 1999, Michelle Obama’s program was a disastrous failure. From 1999 to 2010, the rate of childhood obesity from those aged 2 to 19 years old increased by 3 percent. From 2010, when the law was enacted, to 2014, the childhood obesity rate continued to increase by approximately 0.3 percent — not decline.
The Cost Is Exuberant. In 2006, the cost of the federal school lunch program was roughly $8 billion, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
During the 2006 school year, the program served 28 million lunches daily, on average, at a cost of $8 billion for the year.
Eight years later, in 2014, the cost was estimated to exceed $16 billion, according to a report by the New America Foundation. Many schools have slashed the program entirely due to the cost associated with it being too high. Approximately 70% of all meals are given to students free of charge or at a reduced price, according to FRAC.
It Only Partially Addresses The Symptoms Of The Problem, Not The Problem Itself. This overarching attempt at a nanny-state tried partly to take the job of parenting away from parents and hand it to the federal government. It is the parent’s job to ensure their child is eating healthy meals, not the state’s, and certainly not Michelle Obama. A symptom of failing to establish clean eating habits as a parent is childhood obesity; something that Michelle Obama failed to treat. In fact, the new lunches were so poorly received, over 1 million students have forgone purchasing school lunch altogether. The ones who still do buy lunch have been extremely wasteful. According to a report titled “Impact of the National School Lunch Program on Fruit and Vegetable Selection,” “average waste increased from a quarter cup to more than one-third of a cup per tray.”
Additionally, the collective outrage of students forced to participate in this program sparked a Twitter hashtag: #ThanksMichelleObama.
— Truth Warrior (@LupeColon) May 13, 2017
So, in other words, Michelle Obama’s school lunch program did not truly have an effect on childhood obesity rates, increased spending, forced students to down lousy meals, and increased wastefulness. Good job!
However, Michelle Obama apparently isn’t one to take criticism, even when valid. On Friday, she attacked her program’s detractors by labeling them “partisan,” an attack all too often used by the Left in order to kill an argument.
“What is wrong with you? And why is that a partisan issue? Why would that be political? What is going on? Now that is up to moms. I’m talking to moms, think about this, take me out of the equation, like me, don’t 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 okay with that?” she complained at the Partnership for a Healthier American 2017 Healthier Future Summit.
The former first lady’s plan was a massive failure and deeming it as anything else is a lie. Likewise, labeling arguments against it as partisan hackery is disengenuous. The federal government should not have as massive as a role in parenting as forcing kids to eat certain foods while at school constitutes. Taking the job of parents away at a federal level will only exacerbate the lack of parenting that many children suffer from. If substantially helping parents and kids is the goal, doing it at a provincial level is the only way to accomplish anything. Big government programs coming from the first lady aren’t a boon to jurisdictions that adopted them, but rather a disadvantage.