Consumer Protection and Regulation: School Meals

Whether or not the law is always on our side, it is the hope of Americans that the law is there to protect all people. When we look at driving laws, gun laws, drinking age laws, etc., the peoples’ best interest is in mind. For many years however, it seemed that regulations in school lunches did not necessarily have the best interest of America’s children at heart. Along with the inauguration of Barak Obama as President in 2009, came First Lady Michelle Obama, and with her, a passion to get America’s youth active and healthy. According to the USDA, with Mrs. Obama’s help, new standards came into affect for healthier school meals to enable healthier children. For the first time in fifteen years, school meals were being criticized and forced to improve.

Standards required by law include: Proper portions and caloric intake amounts, daily fruits and vegetables, reduced amounts of saturated fat, sodium, etc., offering low-fat options. This is one instance where the law is helping teach America’s youth the importance of nutrition and helping gear toward a healthier generation overall. Scientists and nutritionists helped develop these standards, expanding them outside of the cafeteria and into the vending machines on campuses. Increased funding for public schools across the nation was also promoted due to these new standards. Regulating school lunches directly affects the consumer (the children of the schools) and is allowing them proper education on nutrition as well as easy and affordable access to it.

Here is a chart that shows school meals before and after reform, it is clear that in regulating the standards of food served in schools, children now have access to nutrient rich food; at least while on school grounds. https://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cnr_chart.pdf

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