Join the discussion: Should the government mandate healthy eating in schools?

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  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 4, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" the only limits I have seen with food stamps is for alcohol and tobacco. Other than that, there are few if any limits. Papa Murphy's, 7-11, and other fast food places accept the food stamps. That is what the signs that say "We accept EBT" mean.

    I am not saying that the government needs to control food stamps more. I am saying that if their concern is the overweight children why are they going after the children instead of the parents?

    If the government is supplying food to the poor, they should do so in an economical manner, not the waste that goes into their current programs. It would be cheaper to have a refrigerated truck go around and deliver boxes of food to the poor than it is right now. I know of people that have been on welfare that eat better than I do.

    June 3, 2014 9:02 p.m.

    It's not the government's job. For starters, government doesn't even know what constitutes good nutrition. It changes every so many years. (And no, the federal government shouldn't be paying for our local schools, either.)

    For another thing, as has already been mentioned, one size doesn't fit all. If a growing kid isn't getting enough calories, they won't thrive. If another kid is getting too many calories, they won't thrive. I know that when I was school age I ate anything and everything I could get my hands on and I was still seriously underweight. If they had taken away my snacks and junk food I probably would have starved to death.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 3, 2014 2:27 p.m.

    Where was Mike when Nancy Reagan "Just Say No to Drugs"?
    Laura Bush's "Ready to Read, Ready to Learn"?
    does Mike just have an accute case of hating all things Obama?

    Seriously Mike,
    First Lady's have taken up "causes" since the days of Dolly Madison.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 3, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    "No one assigned Mrs. Obama the duty to tell us or our children what we or they should eat. That was a self-assigned duty that falls far outside the Constitution. She has no authority to do anything more than to suggest that we should change our diet."

    Man Mike... did you get an excess dose of the "I hate the Obamas' today? No one said she can legislate anything. She has introduced no bills. She has passed no laws or rules. She has done nothing counter to the constitution... she applied no power. She is simply expressing and advocating for a cause, just as every First Lady before he has done. On what basis you think she is acting outside the constitution is I do not know. The only authority she has exercised is her constitutionally given right to free speech and advocating for a cause she believes in.

    Mike - I am not sure what radio show or web site you follow... but what you are claiming isn't happening. As such much of your rant again on extra-constitional actions.... is moot.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 3, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    USS Enterprise, UT

    So -- You are advocating Michele Obama tell parents what they can or can't feed their children?

    And you call me a big Government control freak?

    FYI -- Food Stamps already has limits of what you can or can not buy with them.
    Perhaps what you meant to say - had you known the truth - is that Government should be even MORE restrictive and controlling.

    Your hypocrasy knows no bound...

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 3, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" the double standard is coming out of Michelle Obama. She says that we must do something about obesity, and only works to fix 1 meal per day for the poor. If requiring that kids eat foods that are healthy is so important, what about their parents?

    Why should people receiving government assistance be able to buy chips, soda, 7-11 hotdogs, pizza, and all sorts of other junk food using taxpayer money? If we are to be eating more fresh foods, why not change the food stamps to prevent the poor from buying the high calorie nutritionally poor foods that are so readily available?

    If it is so good for the kids, why isn't it good for the parents?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 3, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    Salt Lake City, Utah

    Lets get to the reality though. If this was First Lady Ann Romney pushing this concept instead of First Lady Michelle Obama most of you who are opposing healthy school lunches would be favoring them.

    9:37 p.m. June 2, 2014



    Ann Romney supporting nutrious school lunches = GOOD
    Michelle Obama supporting nutrious school lunches = BAD

    What I see is blahtant --
    Double Standard,
    lacking of integrity,
    blind hatred.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 2, 2014 9:37 p.m.

    2 bits,

    Nobody is taking your freedom or your choices, pack a lunch for your kid. If the government is sponsoring the school lunch program, someone in the government has to make a choice as to what is served to those who choose to eat. Why not choose healthy? To argue otherwise makes no sense.

    Lets get to the reality though. If this was First Lady Ann Romney pushing this concept instead of First Lady Michelle Obama most of you who are opposing healthy school lunches would be favoring them.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 2, 2014 9:15 p.m.

    "Should the government mandate healthy eating in schools?"


    Schools are for learning, and the value of good nutrition is worth learning.

    Schools have always mandated appropriate behavior, haven't they?

    If not . . . they certainly should.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 2, 2014 4:49 p.m.

    Is the government the parent or is it the servant? We, the people, are the government. We set the rules. We assign the duties. No one assigned Mrs. Obama the duty to tell us or our children what we or they should eat. That was a self-assigned duty that falls far outside the Constitution. She has no authority to do anything more than to suggest that we should change our diet.

    Who told Mrs. Obama that she has the authority to dictate diet? I didn't. Congress didn't. The voters didn't. The Supreme Court didn't.

    If she decided that we should spend $100 a week on the Opera, would that require us to buy tickets? I don't think so, yet, many people simply sit back and let the wife of an elected official dictate what our children should eat. That's not what America stands for. No person outside of Congress has the right to legislate. Mrs. Obama is not a member of Congress. She has no authority.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 2, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701, the answer is "they are the same". First of all, that the cellophane wrapped sandwich was probably made less than 500 miles away--more likely less than 100 miles away, and not frozen--there would be no need to freeze, and freezing, with the ice forming inside the package, would have made for one soggy sandwich. Whether the bread came from a "local" bakery or a more distant one has no bearing on its nutrition.

    I would have bagged (forgive the pun) the cheese sandwich in favor of a chunk of cheese, a whole grain roll, and fruit. Or chicken soup or cottage cheese. And please, not process cheese, which represents the triumph of technology over conscience.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 2, 2014 2:35 p.m.

    I've never understood why schools are in the business of food provision at all. I brown bagged or bucketed it all my scholastic career.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 2, 2014 1:18 p.m.

    To "Wonder" the problem is that what the kids are getting at school is not good. In all reality it probably doesn't meet the nutrition standards that Michelle Obama has given us.

    Last week the DN had an article about school lunches, and had a picture of what was being served. Nearly everything in it was pre-packaged. They had a picture of a grilled cheese sandwich in a package that said "Fresh Grilled". Now, just using your common sense, what will be healthier to eat. A grilled cheese sandwich made in a factory, packaged, frozen, shipped, microwaved then served, or a sandwich that was made with fresh bread from a local bakery, and grilled while the kids were in line for lunch?

    We tell the kids we want them to eat healthy foods at the same time they see they can rip open a package and microwave it for 30 seconds and have something to eat.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 2, 2014 1:10 p.m.

    Advocate... yes. Mandate... no.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 2, 2014 12:58 p.m.

    And the Utah State Legislature trying to back door and impose the Word of Wisdom is not an example of Government mandating a healthy lifestyle, how?

    BTW -- as someone who "voluntarily" follows the WoW,
    I can't help but ask --
    How can not eating "meat sparingly" and obviously being extremely obese still count as living the Word of Wisdom?

    Perhpas Michelle Obama is right,
    and my morbidly obese anti-Government anti-anything suggested by a Democrat fellow Mormons are wrong?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 2, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    Again... I didn't say they should be eating junk food. Don't put words in my mouth. It's not that black-or-white (you either like government mandates... or you want your kids eating junk food).

    I said they should have choices.... and practice making good choices when they are young... so they will continue making good choices when they get older (rather than because it was mandated by somebody in the Government).

    If kids are throwing the food away... what are they learning... what good is it?

    Have you read any of the stories about how much of these meals are going straight into the garbage? That's a WASTE of money and nutrition.


    Back to the original question... is it the Government's job? I say no.

    IMO It's the parent's job, and the child's job, to make good decisions that fit their individual needs. Not being compelled by a nationwide one-size-fits-all mandate of what they can eat.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 2, 2014 12:31 p.m.

    from Patriot we have "America USED to be about FREEDOM. But no more."

    Patriot... if you want to feed your kids jellied pork fat for every meal, you can still do that. That is your choice - it just that the tax payers aren't going to pay for it. Your freedom does not mean you get to spend other peoples money any way you want. It means you can spend your own money however you want.

    Michelle Obama isn't making your kids exercise.
    Michelle Obama isn't forcing your kids to eat healthy food
    Michelle Obama isn't managing your kids health.

    When you look in the mirror, you are looking at the only person responsible for those. If you want your kids to have health lunches - they are available at your school now. If you want to send them with a meat lovers pizza - that is your choice. No freedom lost..... were just not paying for our poor choices.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 2, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    "“But learning basic physical fitness is, too, and it can burn up a lot of the junk kids inevitably eat at home, if not at school. It also has the added advantage of being a lot less controversial.”

    1) evidently eating health food is "controversial"

    2) evidently exercise will help replace the empty calories of junk food..... high sugar, low nutrition foods are conveyed to high protein low carb diets by means of exercise. Who knew.

    3) this is a mutually exclusive proposition - either its good food "or" excursive.

    Listen, when my kids go out and spend money I earned, I have a say on what it is spent on. Likewise, if the federal government is footing the bill, they get to decide how it is spent. If school district want to spend money on junk food via mandate from their local school boards - those schools can pay for that food.

    If my son wants to buy video games.....he pays for it himself. If he needs help with tuition.... I am more than glad to help pay.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 2, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    healthy eating? What about healthy DRINKING? Should the government MANDATE healthy drinking and if not why (using the same logic Michelle is using for eating)? I think we tried that miserable experiment during prohibition and it didn't work out so well. The Obama's are all about "THEY KNOW BEST"....

    ...they know best how to restrict your diet
    ...they know best how to raise your kids (education etc..)
    ...they know best how to manage your health care needs

    Strike ONE - STRIKE TWO and STRIKE THREE !!!

    America USED to be about FREEDOM. But no more. That freedom has been replaced by the Federal Government and its mandates. This is a very slippery slope people - we all know where and how it ends - COMMUNISM. No freedom...which is the goal of the left from the moment Barack took office.

    Little steps lead to BIG CONTROL!!!

    Leave US ALONE!!!! Let US manage ourselves !!!! You can keep your mandates and we will keep our freedoms!!

    "We teach them correct principles and LET THEM govern themselves" Joseph Smith Jr.

  • ladler LEWISTON, ID
    June 2, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    We are active and eat healthy but what has happened to us as a result of these changes, is a good portion of these "healthy" food lunches is not appetizing. (I know I'm not alone in this.) The calories have also been cut back so much that they can't sustain my teen who plays sports, unless I pay for 2 lunches for him, so he can make it through after school practice. My very active, healthy elementary school child actually likes a lot of the new foods, but is now constantly hungry at school in the afternoons because the lunches are not filling. It's hard to learn when you're hungry. Bringing lunch from home everyday is not an always an option.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 2, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    Mandate no. Strongly encourage? Yes.

    We have a problem and it affects our productivity and our health care costs. Believing otherwise is putting our heads in the sand.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    June 2, 2014 11:15 a.m.

    @2Bits - I agree with you that there have been instances where the school officials threw away perfectly balanced, nutritional lunches on the grounds that it didn't meet the guidelines - only because it also included a cookie or a bag of chips. They forced the child to eat the school lunch and made the parent pay for it.

    We raised a son with ADHD, and I was challenged in figuring out nutritionally what he needed to focus in school better. Removing processed sugars had much to do with it, as well as adding in the right supplements, calcium, etc. However, the school wanted to mandate powerful medications, which the pediatrician recommended against.

    Fortunately, I resisted and retained through the years the power to control my son's diet and treatment. He is now a very productive adult. If schools can dictate everything in our children's lives, then this "one size fits all" approach is going to wreak havoc.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    June 2, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    2 bits -- No, the government is not forcing your kid to eat anything. And who is stopping you from teaching your kid to eat healthy? I don't get the faux outrage that conservatives have about everything. Just because the government publishes nutrient guidelines does not mean that you are forced to eat accordingly. I've heard of one case where a home provided lunch was thrown out by a school cafeteria. It happened somewhere in the US (not locally) and I've never heard of it anywhere else. One case does not a mandate make. By the way, I have faith in parents, but parents are not the ones working in the cafeteria making the school lunches. Those are the lunches that I am perfectly fine mandating as healthy. Bring your own junk food from home if you insist on having your kid eat it.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 2, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    Re: "2 bits, when was the last time some jack booted thug from the government knocked on your door and sent you out on a 5 mile run and then stood over you forcing you to throw away all your junk food"...

    It happens every day... in our public schools.


    I didn't say we need more fat or less veggies... so don't put words in my mouth. I said we need to make our own decisions. And it's not the proper role of government to mandate what we eat (not even what our kids eat).

    Parents should be teaching their kids what to eat. Not the Government.

    As parents... We need to be teaching our kids WHY they should make better decisions (not have the Government mandate it).

    If you think we need government mandates... you have no faith in parents. And you may be right in some cases... but not in all cases.

    Kids are throwing away the government mandated food... how does that benefit anybody?


    Re: "pack your kid's lunch yourself"...

    Parents have... and had perfectly good lunches confiscated by the lunch-police and thrown away, because they didn't meet government mandates...

  • jeanie orem, UT
    June 2, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    I really miss the cinnamon rolls our lunch ladies made each year - gone because if the new requirements. The smell would waft into my classroom all morning. They would leave the extras in the faculty room after school. Now we have pizza with whole wheat crust and cookies made with whole wheat. They're not bad, and from my observations the school lunch kids are eating more healthy which is a good thing.

    I think it's fine for the government to regulate what is served in public schools, but I also think the schools should be allowed some flexibility. An occasional treat made with white flour and slathered in cream cheese frosting isn't going to sink any ships but it sure will spread some joy around. : )

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 2, 2014 10:19 a.m.

    @2 Bits:

    First of all, Michelle Obama is not mandating anything, any more than Ann Romney could or would. She is proposing regulations--i.e. a bill which would have to be introduced by somebody in Congress to make school lunches more healthful--that means less fat, more veggies. Do you see this as a problem, and taking away from your God given right to feed your child chocolate frosted sugar bombs? If so, no problem, pack your kid's lunch yourself. Or pack him some extra fat and sugar to supplement the healthful lunch the school will fix.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    June 2, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    2 bits,

    That would make sense if the government was actually trying to mandate what we eat. They're not. They're mandating what foods will be served in public schools. Whether it's healthy food or not, the government is already making those choices.

  • dddd Logan, UT
    June 2, 2014 10:09 a.m.


    June 2, 2014 10:04 a.m.

    IMNSHO, the government has much more important things that they are required to do than to intrude into places where they have no business.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 2, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    Why not?

    It's that simple.

    Why not?

  • JamesW Fresno, CA
    June 2, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    Not only should they mandate healthy eating, but that should mandate what we can eat, when we can eat, and how much we can eat.
    They should also mandate that every citizen have health insurance, they should schedule our doctor appointments. They should tell us when we can get married and to whom. They should tell us when we can have kids if we can have kids.
    They should mandate our education, tell us what to study, what job that we will have. How much money we will make, where we will live, the type of car we can drive.
    They should also mandate what type of clothes we should wear and when we should wear them. They should tell us what time to wake up in the morning and what time we need to go to sleep.
    If the government mandated our lives, we wouldn't have unemployment, poverty, hunger, or any other problems in society.
    We wouldn't have to make decisions for ourselves and we could just become slaves to society…
    Hitler, Stalin, Kim Jong-un, Mao Zedong, Putin? Should we add Obama to the lists of great leaders who have suppressed people’s choices and freedoms?

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 2, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    When it comes to everyday life I say no as well. However, the government should make sure that our food is free of disease and contaminants (something that the government does a very good job of actually). One only needs to look back at the meat packing industry at the turn of the century to see how horrible our food supply would be without government regulations on cleanliness and safety.

    When it comes to school lunches the government should absolutely be more strict on what schools serve students. The government is already paying for and supplying these meals it wouldn't be that hard to provide food that is actually edible. As a teacher in Utah I see the food that is served first hand and it's pretty bad, bad enough I wouldn't want my kids eating it. The government can and should spend the money to make these meals not just healthier but taste better and use better, fresh ingredients.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    June 2, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    2 bits, when was the last time some jack booted thug from the government knocked on your door and sent you out on a 5 mile run and then stood over you forcing you to throw away all your junk food. When that happens, get back to us on how the government is mandating that you do anything. If you don't want to know that scientific research recommends certain nutrients, then just ignore the food pyramid or whatever you find so offensive. Eat whatever you want and have at it. No one is stopping you.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    June 2, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    Of course everyone is going to say the government shouldn't mandate what people eat. Fact is, the government is NOT mandating what kids or anyone else eats. This is what the government is doing: It is saying that meals that are served with taxpayer money are going to be healthy. Kids are FREE to bring from home any garbage that you want them to eat. They are free to eat any junk food you insist on feeding them at your home, or anywhere else you provide it to them. Why on earth would any rational person object to healthy food being served BY A SCHOOL. This is the most ridiculous question I have ever seen, and Deseret News is clearly trying to imply something that just isn't true by the disingenuous wording of the question -- the government is not, and will not ever, go into your home and take away all your beloved junk food or tell you that you have to eat or not eat anything under penalty of law.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 2, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    Re: "Should the government mandate healthy eating"?

    IMO... No.


    I wouldn't want the government mandating we live the Word of Wisdom IF Ann Romney was in the White House! I don't want the government mandating the dietary system the President's wife has faith in, or her version of what we should/shouldn't eat, drink, how much we should exercise, etc. Even if Obama's beliefs come from her trusted dietitians (instead of from God).

    We should not have President's wives mandating we live the way they would.

    If you wouldn't support a President's wife mandating we live the Word of Wisdom... Don't support Mrs Obama mandating our diet and our daily activities. Be consistent.

    If you're consistent (and you support what Michelle Obama is doing)... then you would support Ann Romney mandating we live the Word of Wisdom IF Mitt Romney won...


    We need to learn to make good decisions on our own... not follow Government mandates (IMO)

    The Government should not mandate all areas of our behavior fit THEIR beliefs (including diet, exercise, how much of our salary we donate to the poor, etc)