Is chocolate milk going to be extinct for future?

Some schools say sugar content contributes to child obesity
Texas Farm Bureau

To this Texan, the only thing better than milk is chocolate milk.

It’s a favorite part of my post exercise routine, so it’s a good thing  I’m not a student in some Los Angeles or Washington, D.C. school
districts where chocolate milk is a thing of the past.

School administrators in some districts in a few states claim the sugar content in f lavored milk is a major contributor to the nation’s child obesity epidemic. Florida considered a statewide ban, citing the  added sugar in flavored milk as a major culprit to the health of  students.

There is never a shortage of fingers pointing when the time comes to blame food for kids being overweight. It’s not the lack of exercise,  poor eating examples at home or the Xbox addiction being blamed. It’s the chocolate milk.

Some school administrators,  in their hurry to seem proactive, are working to remove a product that many—including the School Nutrition Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association, and National Medical Association—agree provides nine essential nutrients including vitamin D, calcium and protein.

What’s more, these groups argue that the impact of the added sugar in f lavored milk is outweighed by the nutrients it provides. In fact, they point to studies that show milk drinkers are no heavier than non-milk  drinkers.

Jaime Oliver, British celebrit y T V chef, is a major critic of flavored milk. He calls it “candy.”

Yes, there is some sugar in flavored milk. Yes, large amounts of sugar is bad for kids.

But, according to the Milk Processors Education Program, milk consumption goes down by 35 percent when flavored options are removed. The health benefits of milk are clear. School districts could offer reduced fat chocolate milk; the difference in taste is negligible.

It’s all about balance.

People of all ages have food choices every day. Simply removing a choice does not eliminate the problem of obesity. For years, health and fitness experts have stressed the importance of moderation.

So pass me the milk – the chocolate milk.

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2011-07-21 digital edition

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