Worried that children were losing the war on obesity, New York City began to slim down its school lunch offerings several years ago, replacing fries with baked potato strips and introducing nonfat chocolate milk, whole grain pasta and salad bars, among other tweaks. In the process, the city also cut calories. So much so, city officials now acknowledge, that it often served children fewer calories than required by the federal government.This is entirely consistent with what we were saying at Fitness Watch years ago based on the government's own data from SNDA II and SNDA III.
The Bloomberg administration has often found itself stymied by the powers of Albany or Washington in its policy goals, including enacting congestion pricing, erecting a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan, taxing soda or banning the use of food stamps for sugar-sweetened beverages.
But in the case of the 860,000 school lunches served daily, it ignored a set of United States Department of Agriculture requirements written in 1994, without seeking permission. City health and education officials said their aim was not to lower calories, but rather to increase the nutritional value of the foods reaching students’ mouths. But as it slowly began re-engineering those foods, there was a “secondary response,” said Cathy Nonas, a senior adviser in the city’s health department. “It dropped the calories and at sometimes below what the U.S.D.A. had as a minimum,” she said.
It remains impossible for anyone to get fat by consuming too few Calories.