In some schools across America, the great chocolate milk debate is now under way.
Last fall, it was about eliminating tater tots from school cafeterias. See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39757142/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/ban-tater-tots-school-so-not-cool-kids-protest/
Now, chocolate milk is under fire.
According to Ann Cooper, director of nutrition services for the Boulder Valley School District in Louisville, Colo., "Chocolate milk is soda in drag. It works as a treat in homes, but it doesn't belong in schools." Cooper’s district has banned all flavored milks in their schools.
In an effort to decrease childhood obesity, schools have decided to eliminate flavored milk. The second largest school district in Los Angeles is hoping to ban flavored milk by the end of the year. Also, schools in Washington, and Berkeley, Calif. have already eliminated flavored milks from their school’s menus.
According to the Milk Processor Education Program, milk consumed in school is more than 70 percent flavored (chocolate or strawberry). Also, the Milk Processor Education Program stated total milk consumption decreases more than 35 percent when flavored milks are removed from schools.
According to ABC News, schools in Florida and West Virginia brought flavored milks back to the menu after pressure from state officials. However, in Virginia, the schools added a new and improved chocolate milk to their school menu. This new chocolate milk is sweetened with beet juice versus high-fructose corn syrup. Some medical studies have shown high-fructose corn syrup leads to obesity and diabetes.
In a joint statement, the American Heart Association, American Dietetic Association, National Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and School Nutritional Association said studies point out kids who drink fat-free milk are not heavier than non-milk drinkers.
Also, milk meets kid’s nutritional requirements with protein, calcium and vitamin D. In addition, milk has more than nine essential nutrients.
Here is a breakdown of grams of sugar in milk:
• Eight ounces of white milk has 14 grams of natural sugar (lactose)