Is pizza a vegetable? Congress thinks so
The Obama administration has been trying to reduce the childhood obesity problem by getting healthier foods into school cafeterias. But, a new spending bill blocks the administration's attempt to stop counting the two tablespoons of tomato sauce on a slice of pizza as a vegetable under federal rules for school lunches. The bill also delays a requirement to boost whole grains in the lunches. Congress voted for the changes requested by companies making frozen pizza and potato growers who want to keep french fries on the menu.
Class discussion: Some critics, like former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, have complained White House's anti-obesity campaign intervenes too much in people's personal choices. Do you think pizza and fries should be taken off school menus? Search for newspaper reports about the costs of the obesity epidemic. Would it be cheaper to pay more for lunches or health care? Why do you think members of Congress voted to keep pizza and fries? Are they worried about school lunch costs, protecting political supporters or championing personal choice? Find newspaper reports about how lobbying works.
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