Expel chocolate milk from school lunches: activist

December 10, 2009

Chocolate milk is "soda in drag" and should be booted out of US school cafeterias, a former celebrity chef turned school lunch lady has said.

"If kids choose chocolate milk over white milk for an entire year they are liable to gain 2.5 to 3 pounds (1-1.5 kilograms) and over 10 years that's 25 to 30 pounds," Ann Cooper told AFP late Wednesday as she arrived in Washington for meetings with officials about the quality of food in schools.

"We already have an crisis in this country," said Cooper, who is currently the director of nutrition services for schools in Boulder, Colorado, where she has had chocolate and other flavored milks expelled from local schools and replaced with cold, plain .

Most chocolate milk has 50 percent more calories than white milk, and as much sugar per ounce as soda.

"Chocolate milk is soda in drag," said Cooper.

An eight-fluid-ounce serving (around 240 milliliters) of Nesquik reduced-fat chocolate milk contains 200 calories and 30 grams of sugar -- or more than a 12-ounce (350-milliliter) can of Coca Cola which clocks in at 27 grams of sugar and 140 calories.

Of course, flavored milk contains essential nutrients that are absent from soda, but plain milk contains the same nutrients, plus fewer calories and one third of the sugar as the flavored variety.

At a conference on obesity earlier this year, Thomas Frieden, head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), noted that about half of the additional 250 calories that the average American consumes today compared to 25 years ago come from sugared and .

The dairy industry is fighting back against those who want flavored milk kicked out of school lunch rooms with an online campaign called "Raise your hand for chocolate milk."

"Some schools and activist groups are looking to remove low-fat chocolate milk from cafeterias, but this actually could do more nutritional harm than good," the National Dairy Council says on the pro-flavored-milk website, which features an abundance of chocolate-colored text boxes.

" is the most popular milk choice in schools and kids will drink less milk (and get fewer nutrients) if it's taken away," it says.

(c) 2009 AFP

Related Stories

Recommended for you

One in 4 women and 1 in 6 men aged 65+ will be physically disabled in Europe by 2047

October 23, 2017
By 2047 one in four women and one in six men aged 65 and above is expected to be living with a physical disability that will severely restrict everyday activities, reveals an analysis published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Protein regulates vitamin A metabolic pathways, prevents inflammation

October 23, 2017
A team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have discovered how uncontrolled vitamin A metabolism in the gut can cause harmful inflammation. The discovery links diet to inflammatory diseases, ...

New insights into controversial diagnosis of adolescent chronic fatigue

October 23, 2017
Crucial new research could provide some clarity around the controversy surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in adolescents. The research by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute published ...

Do boys really have a testosterone spurt at age four?

October 23, 2017
The idea that four-year-old boys have a spurt of testosterone is often used to explain challenging behaviour at this age.

Our laws don't do enough to protect our health data

October 23, 2017
Have you ever wondered why your computer often shows you ads that seem tailor-made for your interests? The answer is big data. By combing through extremely large datasets, analysts can reveal patterns in your behavior.

New prevention exercise programme to reduce rugby injuries

October 23, 2017
A new dynamic 20-minute exercise programme, performed by rugby players before training and pre-match, could dramatically reduce injuries in the sport according to a benchmark study published today (Sunday 22 October).

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.