The May 4 front-page article “Striving to keep these moves permanent” touted first lady Michelle Obama’s leadership in fighting childhood obesity, but her involvement has been a blessing and a curse. Unfortunately, her association with this movement has turned it into a liberal issue for conservatives desperate to attack the president.

This affected Healthy School Food Maryland’s efforts to bring more transparency about the wide array of unhealthy sugary and salty snack foods sold to children in cafeterias. A misguided Sen. Stephen S. Hershey Jr. (R-Kent) railed against our efforts as a mandate on local government. In fact, parents wanted more control of school districts that are funding their food programs through sales of snacks rather than providing well-balanced meals.

Conservatives should check their polls before going after healthier school meals: A 2014 Pew Charitable Trusts poll showed 56 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of independent parents support healthier school meals.

Lindsey Parsons, Takoma Park

The writer is coordinator of Healthy School Food Maryland.