Michelle Obama

Imagine a restaurant getting a great review, only to have the chef call the newspaper to complain that the critic was sorely mistaken and the restaurant’s food isn’t as good as the review made it out to be. That bizarre scenario was all I could think of when I received an email yesterday from the School […]

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How Did the School Nutrition Association Lose Its Way?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on June 3, 2014

How did the School Nutrition Association, the nation’s largest organization of school food professionals, go from being a vocal supporter of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act to the moving force behind current efforts to gut that legislation? Even the First Lady finds this flip-fop perplexing, reportedly saying at a recent gathering of school nutrition leaders, “Help me understand why, […]

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Yesterday the House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal 2015 spending bill with controversial language, drafted by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), which would allow struggling schools to request a 12-month waiver from complying with healthier school food standards.  While that might sound innocuous, this waiver, which was strenuously opposed by the First Lady and school food advocates (including this […]

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First Lady Defends Healthier School Food in NYT Op-Ed

by Bettina Elias Siegel on May 29, 2014

What can I say?  The Michelle O. love I expressed yesterday only deepens. . . . Here’s her piece in today’s New York Times making a strong case for staying the course on healthier school food. Keep in mind that in writing this kind of editorial (and in making her White House statement on Monday), the First Lady is engaging in an unusually […]

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Dear Michelle . . . .

by Bettina Elias Siegel on May 28, 2014

Dear Michelle, Can I call you “Michelle?”  I know it’s a bit presumptuous, what with you being First Lady and all, but for the last six years you and I have shared a beautiful friendship, one that’s no less special for being entirely one-sided. We have so much in common, Michelle, it’s no wonder we’re one-way BFFs!  We’re both […]

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Simple Steps to Help #SaveSchoolLunch!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on May 19, 2014

As I wrote here last week, and as I’ve been telling you for the last few months, many of the important school food reforms of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act are currently at risk of being rolled back.  We fought hard for the passage of those improved school meal standards and changing course just two […]

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How “Optimistic” Should We Feel About the War on Obesity?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on May 8, 2014

Earlier this week, the New York Times ran an opinion piece, “Finally, Some Optimism About Obesity?,” in which bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel and researcher Andrew Steinmetz tell us we should feel good about the country’s anti-obesity efforts* because we’re responding to this health crisis “much more nimbly” than we did with smoking. The dangers of tobacco were first established in the 1920s but it took fifty years before […]

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Earlier this year I wrote a piece for Civil Eats called “State of the Tray” in which I explained how some of the key gains of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) may be rolled back when the Child Nutrition Reauthorization comes before Congress in 2015. One of the most contentious issues under consideration is the current mandate that […]

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Junk Food Marketing at Your Child’s School? Take a Picture!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on March 27, 2014

A few weeks ago I told you about the newly released, proposed USDA rules which would use district wellness policies as a vehicle to curb junk food and beverage marketing on school campuses.   (At first I told you I wasn’t so happy with using wellness policies as a means to that laudable end, but […]

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Two days ago, I told you about proposed USDA rules, promoted by the First Lady and released on the fourth anniversary of her Let’s Move! initiative, which would curb the marketing of foods and beverages on school campuses.  Specifically, if adopted, the new rules would restrict on-campus advertising during the school day to foods and beverages meeting the […]

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