Thousands more children would eat at school and all school food would become more nutritious under a bill President Obama signed into law today, part of an administration-wide effort to combat childhood obesity. "At a very basic level, this act is about doing what's right for our children," Obama said before signing the bill. The bill also was a priority for first lady Michelle Obama, who launched a national campaign this year against childhood obesity.
"We can all agree that in the wealthiest nation on earth all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow and to pursue their dreams," said the first lady. "Because in the end, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. Nothing." The $4.5 billion measure increases the federal reimbursement for free school lunches by 6 cents a meal at a time when many school officials say they can't afford to provide the meals. The bill will also expand access to free lunch programs and allow 20 million additional after-school meals to be served annually in all 50 states.