According to The Center for Disease Control 33.8% of US citizens are obese, and is it any wonder? Most of us don't eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables, and those we do consent to eat often stretch the definition of "healthy" to the breaking point. Case in point: On Tuesday, Congress declared pizza a vegetable.
Instead of an underhanded effort to change the menu in the Congressional cafeteria, the move is an effort to counter the Obama administration's proposal to serve healthier lunches in schools.
The White House's proposal, spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama along with the USDA, was based on 2009 recommendations by the
Institute of Medicine. The nutrition guidelines, called MyPlate, aim to reduce the amount of potatoes and sodium in children's diets, and replace them vegetables and whole grains.
In an effort to counteract Obama's proposal, Congress' bill insists that the tomato paste used to make pizzas should be counted as a vegetable. (This makes a tiny amount of sense until your realize that tomatoes are fruits.) This consideration was requested by food companies that produce
frozen pizzas for schools, the salt industry and potato farmers, all of which would see their sales to schools cut under the Obama administration's plan. Some conservatives in Congress seem to have rationalized the decision
saying that the federal government shouldn't be telling children what to
eat. What they don't seem to realize is that, regulations or not, it still is; By classifying foods like pizza and french fries as vegetable, the government is telling schools that they are healthy things to eat every day.
Both the House and the Senate are expected to vote on the bill this week and send it to President Obama.
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