Poll: Americans oppose federally regulated school lunches

Healthy lunch regulations are resulting in wasted food that kids won't eat, critics say.

SALT LAKE CITY—A new Rasmussen poll finds that just 25 percent of Americans believe the federal government should set school lunch nutrition standards; 51 percent think those decisions should be made locally, while 15 percent prefer to see state governments decide.

The poll is more bad news for the White House in the national food fight over school lunch nutrition.

The controversy stems from 2010 legislation known as the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which mandated standards with more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy, as well as less sugar, fat, and sodium.

The standards quickly generated controversy, both for their cost and because kids were less than thrilled with the food.

"Some of the stuff we had to offer, they wouldn't eat," Superintendent Gary Lewis from Catlin, Illinois, told CBS last year. "So you sit there and watch the kids, and you know they're hungry at the end of the day, and that led to some behavior and some lack of attentiveness."

Late last month the House Appropriations Committee approved an Agriculture budget bill that would allow a school to opt out of the regulations for one year if the school can show it is losing money.