I remember when mothers were obsessed with keeping high-fructose corn syrup out of the home, but now it appears that Jamie Oliver and healthy mommies have sought out a new culprit: flavored milk. LAUSD will be banning a variety of foods from their cafeterias including the usual suspects like chicken nuggets and corn dogs, but even sweetened milks are now considered an affront to the health of children.
Medical News Today notes that while soda is notorious for contributing to the child obesity epidemic, flavored milks are packed with sugar too:
It’s not just soda that’s full of sugar. Kids are getting it from the chocolate and strawberry milk they drink at school too. Flavored milk also has other ingredients you won’t find in the plain stuff such as colors, flavors, artificial sweeteners, which don’t make it more nutritious.
Soy milks and Lactaid options are still safe to sip on, but chocolate milk — a childhood favorite — will not be available on LAUSD’s dime. Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at the Yale University School of Medicine, explains that schools are now in a position to promote healthful living at every opportunity and that, “Milk closer to nature is a better choice than milk with added sugar and colorings and flavorings.”
Dr. Jana Klauer, a nutrition and metabolism expert in New York, pointed out that:
“Adding flavorings and sugar to milk offers no nutritional benefit. The harm of the sweetened dairy products, besides the added calories, is that the palate changes so that the drive for sweetness increases.”
Given how closely childhood innocence has been linked to chocolate milk in this recent century, I admit it’s a little jarring to think of those little brown cartons being carted out of campuses as “banned materials.” But sugar is sugar and given the expanding waists of our kiddies, I can understand LAUSD’s unwillingness to throw down money for yet another fatty food.