Public Schools Might Ban Chocolate Milk Forever
The Chocolate Milk Ban
The reason behind this consideration is its high sugar content. This move has already been implemented in some major cities like Washington, DC, and San Francisco, but New York City Mayor Eric Adams has abandoned the idea.
The suggestion for the ban came earlier this year and it has gained traction due to the high rate of childhood obesity in the country, which affects about 20% of children, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to a recent study published in the National Library of Medicine, flavored skim milk is the main contributor to added sugar in school meals. Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health professor Erica Lauren Kenney has advised limiting the consumption of these flavored kinds of milk due to their high sugar content, citing potential health risks.
Arguing Against The Band
Many parties, including school districts, parents, and representatives of the dairy industry, argue that chocolate milk is an incredibly healthy beverage.
The Executive Director of the Urban School Food Alliance, Katie Wilson, poses an interesting question, "Why force kids to give up a drink they enjoy, that is rich in nine vital nutrients, and instead drink plain milk?"
Regulatory officials are struggling to make a decision. They are grappling with whether to ban flavored milk or allow flavored options with no more than 10 grams of added sugars in each 8-ounce serving.
The New Sugar Standards
Last month, the school milk processing industry was able to garner agreement from more than 90% of its members to comply with the new sugar standards.
According to Cindy Long, administrator of the United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service, figuring out the best course of action for flavored milk can be quite a challenge. The agency recognizes the importance of milk consumption among children, but it also acknowledges the need to limit the intake of added sugars. The director of nutrition services for Littleton Public Schools in Colorado shared that many students tend to skip much-needed protein if non-flavored milk is the only option available since they do not enjoy its taste as much as flavored milk.
“Do we want kids to get the calcium, the protein, the additional nutrients that are part of milk?” Jessica Gould rhetorically asked the paper. “Because when we were only providing white milk [during the COVID-19 pandemic] we did see a significant amount of students didn’t take milk in general.”
Following the release of the proposal in February, the USDA received an overwhelming response of nearly 90,000 comments. A verdict on flavored milk, which could affect approximately 30 million students, is projected to be made within the upcoming year and executed by the 2025-26 academic year, shared Long with the Journal.
The possibility of progressively decreasing the sodium levels in school meals is also being explored by the agency.
Read More Here: NyPost