Comments about ‘First lady responds to school meal critics’

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Published: Tuesday, May 27 2014 4:30 p.m. MDT

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Richfield, UT

In theory, socialist ideas all sound good and can be made to pull at the heartstrings when presented in certain ways. But that still doesn't change the fact that we have become too socialistic in allowing too much government intrusion and involvement in our everyday lives.

Society needs to eventually learn some accountability for the rudimentary needs in their lives. My sister-in-law teaches elementary school in an area where the majority of students participate in this program. Yet many of the parents of these kids drive newer cars than hers, dress nicer than one would expect, and many of the kids talk about watching cable tv shows. And we're supposed to believe they all need help with their basic food needs?? Some actually do.

In otherwords, the qualifications for these programs have become too lenient and broad. Either that, or the government has allowed too much fraud. Either way, it is another enormous government expense that needs to be reigned in and held to a higher degree of accountability.

Keeping our government solvent and not going bankrupt is not being heartless... regardless of the spin liberals will try to put on this.

Springville, UT

@ Concinnity, socialism? Are you kidding me? If you want the government to be "solvent", oppose the efforts in the Republican controlled House of Representatives to prevent the Pentagon from restructuring to be more efficient and spend less. The money we have spent each year in Afghanistan would be enough to pay the tuition of every single college student in America. Focusing in on a relatively small program (or any social program) where a lot of good is done overall, despite some abuses, and deliberately ignoring a much bigger problem, smacks of something, doesn't it? You talk of accountability, but will you yet again vote for the same Member of Congress (in your case, Jason Chaffetz) who sits in the majority, who votes to force the Pentagon to waste money? That is a simple way to demand accountability, but most Utahns won't do it. For me, I would rather err in favor of good nutrition programs, even where there may be abuses, rather than making a deliberate decision to enrich the already rich, which is the goal and mission of the GOP.

Bored to the point of THIS!
Ogden, UT

This is a great example of what the GOP really cares about... which is money!

We're really going to fight good nutrition in our school lunches? The GOP says the rules are too strict, yet the rules are designed to help our future generation be healthier.

I'd be curious to see the obesity rates of the congressmen who are leading this fight! I'd bet their states already have high rates!

Also, I find it interesting the GOP is more interested in making it easy for a business to sell inferior quality food to the government (public schools).

Saint George, UT

So, why is she involved in school lunch decisions again ??
Aren't those decisions up to the local school districts or even the state school boards ??
The last thing on her schedule is to try and control or even have any input what kids eat at our schools.

Richfield, UT

@ Esquire:

In truth, you should've stopped before starting your soapbox oratory. It has simply evidenced your lack of knowledge concerning this particular issue and clearly demonstrates a certain level of political ignorance... especially when deferring so completely from the actual issue at hand in the article.

Your statement about the "goal and mission of the GOP" is especially telling of that ignorance and the proliferation of your general political bias. Blowing off steam doesn't contribute toward the dialog of this article in any meaningful way. Please try again after pondering the issue in a more deliberate and direct way... without the political theatrics.

Centerville, UT

Schools should promote healthy foods by what is offered in the school cafeterias and vending machines. I am all for Michelle Obama's efforts.

My kids don't like school lunches so we send them with a sack lunch: whole grain sandwiches, a fruit or vegetable. They can drink water from the drinking fountain. My kids report they are full, and they are eating healthier than what they get in the cafeteria even with Obama's initiative.

But it is true that in America we have an obesity epidemic. We need to educate and let people make their own decisions, but it is certainly wise for schools to offer healthier foods.

Durham, NC

So funny.... its not a debate if government money will be spent, but what government money will be spent on - as usual. This time rather than the regular debate of social programs versus military spending, it is the battle between our government funds being spent on Chips and soft drinks versus apples and fruit juices.

This is really the battle lines between socialism and free markets? If our kids get junk food for lunch? If you don't like what our socialist school system is feeding your kids, do the free market response and pack your kids own lunch. No one is taking away your choice. They are just taking away the choice to spend government funds on junk food. If you want to send your kid to school with a Twinkies and a Mountain Dew for lunch... go for it.

Socialism... good golly we do go to extremes to make this a socialism argument.

Durham, NC

Manny - it is because those school districts and schools are spending federal dollars on those programs. If you spend the feds money, you do so by the feds rules.

She has just as much business expressing her opinion on the batter as did Bush's wife have to push causes she was behind, and every other first lady. Why shouldn't she be able to do what every other first lady before her was able to do? Is this a special rule you have for Democrat first ladies... or is it driven by something else? Why the special rules?

Pasedena, CA

If she wants to get these kids healthy, how about she does something that will actually be effective. Change the SNAP program so that it only will pay for nutritious foods. Why should SNAP be paying for a family to get hotdots at 7-11, or Pizza from Papa Murphy's? If the issue is getting them eating healthy, the most effective place for that is in the home.

boneheaded, but not a smidgen

glad we voted michelle into office. i wonder if she can just feed all of us, not just the school children.

Syracuse, UT

All I know is that I don't want to return to the early 80's when Reagan made a fool of himself trying to get them to count ketchup as a vegetable!

Springville, UT

@ Concinnity, rather than substantive responses, you attack me - the old red herring tactic. Attack the messenger and not the issue. There is no socialism here. It is a small program, and I acknowledge there may be abuses. But as I said, I would rather have that than the massive abuses favored by the GOP. They are not about saving money, but as point out by others, they want to spend differently. And spend they do! Your rant about socialism, and your subsequent attack on me, to quote you directly, "doesn't contribute toward the dialog of this article in any meaningful way."

And for those of you who attack the First Lady, this is mostly a public education effort, and a good one. It is no different than Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign or Laura Bush's reading program. All three of these First Ladies have made a positive contribution, and if they can encourage their chosen initiatives, including obtain funding, we are the better for it.

Lindon, UT

My daughter once saw Michelle Obama on TV and said "I do not like that woman." I chuckled and asked why. She responded, "She took my cookie." Hard to argue with that reasoning. BTW-- my daughter is not overweight. I have no problem with making sure we offer healthy choices but also think there should be some balance and reasonable guidelines. Schools now have the healthiest garbage cans in the world. You can serve it but that doesn't mean they'll eat it. My older kids don't eat at school then eat when they get home at 2:15.

salt lake city, UT

"You can serve it but that doesn't mean they'll eat it. My older kids don't eat at school then eat when they get home at 2:15."
We can serve kids cookies, candy and cake if our objective is to have them eat everything. Let a kid go hungry if they and their parents demand we serve them junk with taxpayers dollars. Teach your children well as their parents health will slowly go by.......


What does the FLOTUS mean when she says, "unacceptable." That sounds like something the POTUS would say. Are they getting their roles confused?

Durham, NC

VST... just get the local tax payers to step up and approve the program, and it is a good as done. In fact locals schools could do what ever they want if they would just turn down federal dollars. They would not have to do common core. They wouldn't have to feed kids healthy food. They could all they want... just turn down the dollars.... and raise the funds locally.

Enough localities do that and the federal programs would go away due to lack of interest. It just takes locals choosing to take the first step. Which in most cases... they will not.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

Some of the most overweight children I know come from poverty-stricken families (because high caloric fast food and carbs are cheap). They tend to be on welfare and also tend to be on medicaid. They also tend to use medicaid to deal with health related problems due to being overweight or obese. I had a 7th grade student tell me today that he lost 60 pounds due to better nutrition choices at school (in part). Removing the temptation of unhealthy choices is key in losing weight. Those who've lost weight know this to be true.

Yes, it might be socialism, but schools are already government funded, and the lunch program (government subsidized lunch) was already government run. Students aren't forced to eat school lunch. They always have the choice to bring food from home so it isn't as socialist as the fear-mongering alarmists would have you believe (they constantly misuse the term socialism).

If conservatives really want to reduce medical expenses for those on medicaid or medicare and save taxpayer money in the long run, you would think they would support healthy food choices for those who eat government subsidized lunches (school lunch).

Holladay, UT

It doesn't matter what Michelle Obama thinks she is not the boss.

Let the local schools handle lunches it is not the federal government's business.

Woodland Hills, UT

The obama's are good at feeding us a lot of crap, politics and bad lunches.


It was a mistake for Michelle to promote good nutrition by getting laws passed and rules enforced. She would have gotten sympathy even from Republicans (like me) if she had used moral influence, education, and rational pursuasion instead. And, she would have been more effective in getting positive behavior change. The Federal Government coercing schools to change behavior won't teach children anything -- as people noted, children are throwing good food away. Only non-coercive instruction from people who actually know and care will teach children to eat healthy for life, whether in school or at home. I know many adults who say that they will never eat peas or broccoli because of how it was forced on them when they were young. The nutrition lessons my mother taught me with love are what stay with me today.

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