Fox News championed a campaign to encourage healthy school nutrition in an interview with New York Giants player Victor Cruz, sharply contrasting with the network's long history of attacking similar efforts as government fiat.
On the March 4 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Victor Cruz promoted Fuel Up to Play 60, the "nation's largest in-school wellness program." The initiative, a partnership between the National Football League and the National Dairy Council, aims to encourage support for school nutrition by creating “a system for increasing breakfast participation by delivering reimbursable meals to classrooms for student consumption before or during class,” pointing to research that suggests offering “breakfast free to all children improve[s] student achievement, diets and behavior.”
Cruz's campaign received a warm welcome by the Fox & Friends co-hosts who donned Cruz jerseys while interviewing him during National School Breakfast Week. Co-host Steve Doocy lauded Cruz for working to ensure “every kid in America is eating a healthy breakfast.” Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck praised Cruz's campaign, saying, “I know how important you understand nutrition is for kids. You do so much for kids, and this Play 60 campaign that you're running with here is so important. Tell us about why breakfast really counts for kids” :
But Fox's promotion of Cruz's campaign for healthy school breakfasts is curious given that Cruz was recently announced as an ambassador for first lady Michelle Obama's healthy-eating campaign, an effort that has long been derided by Fox News as government fiat, with one Fox host going so far as to imply that the first lady was too fat to be credible on nutrition. In fact, Fox & Friends co-host Doocy once blasted Obama's new nutrition standards as “the food police.”
Fox also has a sordid history of attacking food security programs for children, including school breakfasts. During a 2013 Fox & Friends segment, Fox Business host Stuart Varney attacked the Obama administration for increased enrollment in food security programs, complaining that “32 million [are] getting school lunches, free or at virtually no cost. Ten million get school breakfast free or at virtually no cost. Women, infants, and children, the WIC program, 8 million there. The milk and summer food program goes to 2 million people. Farmers' market coupons are given away to nearly 2 million women and children.” Fox News host Neil Cavuto argued in April 2014 that the spending in the school breakfast program was “ridiculous.” The network even questioned whether students should have to work for such meals: