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In a country where one in five children and adolescents is overweight, the Trump administration wants to relax the rules imposed on school canteens. (Illustration photo) MARK RALSTON / AFP

Tackling the standards set up by Michelle Obama to guarantee healthier food in schools, the Trump administration proposed this Friday, January 17, to soften these rules, which could encourage the revival of junk food in canteens.

The Secretary of Agriculture has chosen the day of Michelle Obama's birthday to announce that he is attacking one of the flagship measures that she had put in place: the hunt for junk food in schools. The ex-first lady had imposed fruits and vegetables in the canteen every day, and limited the possibility of eating pizza, fries and other burgers.

The Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue presented this Friday a proposal for federal reform to " soften " this program. Starting from the observation that the students throw away the food offered to them if it is not " appetizing ", he suggests, for example, not to cross the vegetables off the menu, but to present them in the form of fries.

" Schools and school academies tell us that there is still too much food waste and that more common sense flexibility is necessary to provide students with nutritious and appetizing meals ," the minister said in a statement . It offers, among other things, to offer 100,000 schools and 30 million students " more varieties of vegetables ", as well as " à la carte menus ".

Enjoyed a delicious lunch with second graders at Castle Hills Elementary in San Antonio, TX. 🍗🥦🥔 We had chicken, broccoli, blueberries, mashed potatoes, and of course, Texas ruby ​​red grapefruit. pic.twitter.com/lspP9msRuf

Dry. Sonny Perdue (@SecretarySonny) January 17, 2020

The food industry immediately welcomed this measure. Conversely, health-related organizations have stepped up to the plate. " The Trump administration continues its assault on children's health under the pretext of 'simplifying' school menus, " Colin Schwartz legal officer for the Center for Science in the Public Interest said in a statement. This " (will allow) children to choose pizzas, burgers, fries, and other high-calorie, high-fat foods, instead of having balanced school menus every day, " he warned.

In a country where almost one in five children and adolescents is overweight, nutritionists fear an increase in obesity in children, especially in the poorest whose diet depends most on the menus offered at school .