Nutrition and child advocates are justifiably outraged by this turn of events. Over the next few months they will wage a David-and-Goliath-style battle against the companies that stand to lose money if the implementation of these standards continues on its successful course.
I sincerely hope the advocates prevail. Without continued vigilance we face a future in which our kids grow ever fatter, resulting in huge costs for health care and reduced productivity, and imperiled national security.
I also urge lawmakers to carefully consider the folly of undoing bipartisan legislation that is undeniably ensuring children eat healthier in the places where they spend so much of their time. They should also recognize that the Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for the school lunch program, is working in partnership with schools nationwide to address the challenges that a very small minority are facing as they implement the standards, and providing flexibility when appropriate.
Which is all the more reason to keep the effort on track so all children have a fighting chance to lead healthier lives.
Major Gen. Tracy Strevey Jr., M.D., U.S. Army (Retired) is a member of Mission: Readiness and the former commander of the U.S. Army Health Services Command.