Integrative Nutrition Blog

The Great Chocolate Milk Debate: Which side are you on?

April 13, 2011

To ban or not to ban?
That is the question many schools are facing when considering the removal of chocolate milk from school cafeterias. The rise in childhood obesity has become the #1 issue on tables across America. From the First Lady’s Let’s Move Campaign to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution everyone is talking about how to reduce the growing rates of obesity among school age kids.

School lunches remain a major point of contention. Congress recently approved reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, which is designed to reshape the future of school food. While the Act is a move in the right direction, there is still much work to be done.

Got (chocolate) milk?
The main beverage served in schools for decades remains to be milk; and usually the favorite choice of school kids is the chocolate version. Of course.

Even though added sugars and sweeteners in chocolate milk do not make the list of nutritious foods, the creamy brown milk has maintained it’s status as the most popular beverage among school kids.

Take their chocolate milk away and kids will complain, as Farifax County and D.C schools found out. Actually, not only did school officials hear from students, they also heard from parents, nutritionists and special interest groups.

Dissenters take issue with districts “robbing students of a tasty drink and the vitamins and minerals that fuel bone and muscle growth,” reported by the Washington Post.

This month the Farifax and D.C schools will introduce chocolate milk back on the cafeteria line.

Is it ok to serve students chocolate milk just because they won’t drink it otherwise? Are the health benefits of milk, Vitamin D and Calcium, worth the extra sugar? Is there healthy chocolate milk?

The good news is that whatever side of the fence you stand on, finally, the health and wellbeing of the kids remains to be the final goal.

Do you agree with Jamie Oliver?
“When kids drink chocolate milk every day at school they’re getting two gallons of extra sugar each year. That’s really bad for their health.”

If so, you can sign Jamie’s petition here.

Do you think keeping chocolate milk as the staple beverage at the school cafeteria is the best choice?

Please share your thoughts in the comments. 

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