Debate Over Chocolate Milk in Schools Makes a Comeback

With the focus so strongly targeted on childhood obesity, the decision of whether or not to offer chocolate milk with school lunches has come up again.

Last year, with around 70 percent of children choosing flavored milk over plain white milk, school districts in Virginia and Washington D.C. decided to ban the chocolaty alternative due to its high content of sugars and fats.

There are several other school districts across the United States that took similar steps, including in Colorado and California.

However other studies have shown that children are 37 percent more likely to skip milk altogether when a flavored alternative was not offered. This has encouraged school districts to seek other alternatives besides a ban to provide a healthy drink with lunch.

On May 2nd, the ban will be lifted in Washington D.C. and Virginia, but the chocolate milk will be sweetened with sugar made from cane or beets rather than corn syrup. Other schools have switched to a fat-free version to improve the nutritional qualities.

Pamela Tsakalos, a food service director in Utah said that when an 8 oz. serving of 1 percent white milk was compared to a similar serving of fat-free chocolate, they found there were only 30 more calories in the flavored choice.

This is a minimal amount when compared to the choice of the child not drinking any milk.

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