With his wife by his side, President Obama on Monday signed the child nutrition bill, strongly pushed by the first lady, who has made nutrition part of her campaign to help the young get healthy.
Speaking at Harriet Tubman Elementary School, President Obama praised the bill as a rare example of bipartisan political cooperation as both parties backed the measure designed to provide better school meals to more students and to regulate those meals to make them more healthful.
“This act is about doing what is right for children,” the president said in televised remarks.
First Lady Michelle Obama praised her husband for pushing the bill through Congress. “I want to thank him for working very hard,” she said as the president interrupted to jokingly note that if he hadn’t, he “would have been sleeping on the couch.”
“I won’t go into that,” the first lady replied.
Technically called the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the bill reauthorizes the federal nutrition program, a $4.5-billion measure that expands free school meals for the needy. For the first time, it sets nutritional standards for all food, whether in cafeterias or in school vending machines, and is designed to help fight obesity among children, which has led to an increase in disease, such as diabetes.