TEGA GAY, SOUTH CAROLINA — Ron DeSantis stirred up another food fight with big government advocates by suggesting bureaucrats in Washington D.C. shouldn’t determine what kids eat for lunch every day.
At a campaign event in South Carolina on Monday, a freshman high school student asked DeSantis: “Is there anything that can be done about that to ensure that we have healthier lunches? And that students can have more options?”
The Florida governor said the federal government should not be “dictating” what students eat, but said his administration would provide recommendations for parents and school districts.
“What we don’t want to do is we don’t want to be forcing changes to schools and dictating,” DeSantis said.
“So we will promote what would be good. Obviously, we want it to be cost-effective, but it’s going to be giving school districts, it’s going to be giving individual Americans the best information so that they can make appropriate choices,” he added. “It’s not going to be dictated by Washington.”
Florida Democrats tried to paint the governor as heartless and willing to let children starve.
“Ron DeSantis told a ninth grader he doesn’t see [a] federal role in providing healthy school lunches,” activist Thomas Kennedy tweeted.
The Florida Keys Democrat Party claimed DeSantis and Republicans would “rather starve LGBTQ [students] than abide by National School Lunch Programs guidelines.”
DESANTIS: “THEY WERE WRONG” ABOUT FOOD PYRAMID
DeSantis also pointed out that the federal government championed unhealthy dietary recommendations for decades to the detriment of Americans across the country.
“The federal government in the past, remember they used to do the food pyramid,” he said. “They said don’t eat, don’t eat fat, eat all the carbs. No, the carbs will make you fat too. And so they were wrong about that.”
In 2002, the New York Times published an article entitled “What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?” The story revealed how “the government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in research trying to prove” the “low-fat-is-good-health dogma.”
The story quoted Walter Willett, chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, who argued that “the idea that all fat is bad for you; the exclusive focus on adverse effects of fat may have contributed to the obesity epidemic.” In the years since, subsequent articles, books and podcasts have advanced similar “fat is good” and “we’ve been lied to” arguments.
When federal food guidelines were set in 1977, the average American male weighed 170 pounds. Today, that figure is 197 pounds.