First lady Michelle Obama used the pages of The New York Times Thursday to slam Republicans who she believes have stood in the way of her Let’s Move! campaign to fight childhood obesity.
“When we began our Let’s Move! initiative four years ago, we set one simple but ambitious goal: to end the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation so that kids born today will grow up healthy,” wrote Obama.
She touted the program’s “evidence-based” approach, which relies on “the most current science,” she said. Science has led to a revamping of school lunches to be lower in sugar, salt and fat.
The op-ed is part of a push this week by Obama to readdress what has become her pet issue as first lady.
On Tuesday, Obama spoke to a gathering of school nutritionists and admonished Republicans and some outside groups for wanting to “roll back everything we have worked for.”
In her Times op-ed, Obama resumed the attack, slamming the GOP-led Congress for what she sees as attempts “to undo so much of what we’ve accomplished on behalf of our children,” citing proposed tweaks to the Women, Infants and Children program, known as WIC.
She accused the GOP-led House of wanting to “override science” by mandating that white potatoes be included in a list of foods women can purchase under WIC.
She wants to see other fresh fruits and vegetables included instead, she said.
“Yet some members of the House of Representatives are now threatening to roll back these new standards and lower the quality of food our kids get in school,” wrote Obama.
“They want to make it optional, not mandatory, for schools to serve fruits and vegetables to our kids. They also want to allow more sodium and fewer whole grains than recommended into school lunches,” she wrote, noting that the House appropriations committee will take up the U.S. Department of Agriculture spending bill on Thursday.
Republicans have been pushing for reprieve for schools that are having trouble covering the added costs of complying with the new school lunch mandates.