Former first lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to improve the healthfulness of school lunches will soon be tossed aside, as the Trump administration wrapped up details rolling back the measures this week.
Under the rules first announced last year, schools are now allowed to offer more flavored milk options, like chocolate. Additionally, the Obama-era efforts to limit sodium content in school lunches have been delayed or partially eliminated. The announcement Thursday doesn't require schools to make any changes, but allows them to relax restrictions on those products.
The changes will impact 99,000 schools and institutions that feed 30 million children every year, according to the Department of Agriculture.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue made clear last year that the regulations would not stand under President Donald Trump, arguing that nutritional standards are irrelevant if children won’t eat the food due to lack of appeal and extolling the virtues of chocolate milk: "I wouldn't be as big as I am today without chocolate milk."
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a food policy advocacy group, condemned the move.
“The Trump administration is putting politics before children’s health in ways worse than were expected,” the organization said in a statement.