President-elect Donald Trump won’t be able to undo eight years of food regulations the current administration put in place to make America eat more nutritious food, according to President Barack Obama’s agriculture chief.
“I don’t think that any administration, coming in, following this administration, would be able to roll back everything that’s been done in the nutrition space,” Tom Vilsack, secretary of agriculture told Politico.
Vilsack has worked tirelessly to implement rules through the Department of Agriculture (USDA) aimed at improving the nutrition of the food we eat.
The reforms the president, First Lady Michelle Obama, have pushed during the past eight years have helped reshape how Americans think about the food they eat. From making rules about what can be served in school lunches and spending $6.7 million in 2016 alone to train school nutritionists, to influencing what people can buy with food stamps, the administration’s war on obesity can’t be undone. (RELATED: New Rule: Stores Accepting Food Stamps Have To Sell A Lot More Healthy Food)
“You got a generation of people that are going to want more fruits and vegetables,” Vilsack said.
“I don’t think you’re going to see, ‘You know what? We’re going to go back to the day where we had more fat, more sugar, and sodium in our meals that we’re feeding our kids. And we hope to heck that, somehow, the improvements that we’ve recently seen in obesity rates, somehow, continue,” Vilsack said.
Not every nutrition measure Obama wanted to implement was successful. Early in his administration, Obama entertained the idea of a nation-wide tax on soda to discourage consumption of sugary drinks, but those plans never came to pass.
Even if Trump’s administration, along with the Republican controlled Congress, could undo all of Obama’s work on nutrition, Vilsack doesn’t think the political climate would support a dramatic change of course.
“I think there is a consensus — and I believe it’s a bipartisan consensus — that we have had, and continue to have, a challenge with obesity,” Vilsack said. “We have, and continue to have, concerns about the impact that’s going to have on our military, on our children’s futures, on medical expenses.”
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