Ann Veneman

The latest threat to national security? Salty school lunches
Increasing numbers of young Americans are unfit for military service. So why is the Trump administration rolling back nutrition standards?

OPINION — The Department of Agriculture’s decision to weaken school nutrition standards turns back the clock on the progress already made to provide our nation’s children with healthier meals and healthier diets. As former agriculture secretaries, we are disappointed that the 30 million kids who depend on these meals every day will continue to be served foods with higher salt content, fewer whole grains, and milk with higher amounts of sugar.

This decision not only puts their health at risk, but could have ripple effects on national security, with increasing numbers of young Americans unfit for military service due to weight and other health issues. The irony of this decision today is that the national school lunch program was the result of military leaders convincing President Truman in 1946 of the need for healthier recruits.