A Democratic congressman is trying to give the federal government the power to regulate pizza in public school lunches, following a failed attempt last year.
The legislation proposed by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., would end pizza being counted as a vegetable in school lunches and allow the government to set nutritional standards.
Polis said Congress and fast-food lobbyists were able to nix a similar Agriculture Department plan last year. Frozen-pizza manufacturers are still able to have their product counted as a vegetable based on its tomato paste content.
The congressman said he’s got nothing against pizza in school lunches, but it shouldn’t be considered a vegetable because it includes sugar, salt and other ingredients that carry a high amount of fats and carbohydrates while childhood obesity and Type II diabetes remain a major concern.
“Pizza has a place in school meals,” Polis said in a statement. “But equating it with broccoli, carrots and celery seriously undermines this nation’s efforts to support children’s health and their ability to learn through better school nutrition.”