San Francisco kids have had to get through their education sans soda and candy in classrooms. Now, they’ll need to get by without another sweet favourite.
The city’s school district has banned chocolate milk from its elementary and middle institutions for the upcoming fall semester, and high schools in spring, the San Francisco Chronicle reported this week.
San Fran has already axed soda from schools, and has prohibited cookies and other sweets from lunch menus.
A single carton of chocolate milk has roughly 40% of the recommended daily allowance of sugar in a child’s diet, advocates point out.
San Francisco tested the ban in five schools over the past year, and found there was no decrease in the number of milk cartons consumed in two schools. In the other three, there was only a small dip in milk consumption.
“The kids grumbled about it for a couple of days,” said Libby Albert, executive director of the district’s Student Nutrition Services. But after a while, they settled with plain old white milk, she said.
The majority of elementary and middle school kids that were in those schools were interviewed, where they said they didn’t care whether they could get their chocolate milk fix or not. Sebastian Ong, 8, said chocolate milk is “yummy and delicious,” and the absence of it at school would be “a bummer, but whatever.”
Not everyone agrees with the brown milk ban, suggesting it may not be the best solution for every school. Some students will only drink flavoured milk, and these students may have special nutritional needs. So it may be logical to offer chocolate milk, so these students can get the calcium, vitamin D, and potassium they require.
Related: Why You Should Avoid Low-Fat Milk
“You kind of have to know your student body,” said Marlene Schwartz, director of the University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. “Districts have to make an informed decision.”
Interestingly, the Los Angeles Unified district lifted its chocolate milk just this spring, after a pilot study found that making chocolate milk available would boost milk consumption, while reducing waste. Chocolate milk has been banned from California’s largest school district since 2011.
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