The Biden administration could change lunch period forever.
The Department of Agriculture is considering a ban on flavored milk in school lunches, according to the Wall Street Journal.
This would mean the end of chocolate milk in lunches, as well as strawberry and other flavors.
Federal nutritionists say that the flavored milks create a preference for sugary drinks — themselves a menu item that fuel childhood obesity and poor diets later in life, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“From a public-health perspective, it makes a lot of sense to try to limit the servings of these flavored milks because they do have quite a lot of added sugar,” Erica Lauren Kenney of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health says of the drinks.
The USDA is weighing a ban on chocolate milk and other flavored milks in elementary and middle school cafeterias, but critics say it could lead to children drinking less milk https://t.co/l5ndRDuaN1
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) May 15, 2023
However, chocolate milk still has its defenders.
Some parents and dairy industry advocates of the drink say a ban would prevent children from receiving the health benefits of milk.
Should chocolate milk be banned from schools?
“We want to take a product that most kids like and that has nine essential nutrients in it and say, ‘You can’t drink this, you have to drink plain?’” Urban School Food Alliance Katie Wilson said of the idea.
“What are we trying to prove?”
One Colorado school nutritionist is warning that students will opt out of milk entirely if they don’t have the option of consuming it as a sugary treat.
“Do we want kids to get the calcium, the protein, the additional nutrients that are part of milk?” Jessica Gould, the nutrition director for the Littleton, Colorado, school district, said of the plan.
“Because when we were only providing white milk, we did see a significant amount of students didn’t take milk in general.”
One proposed school meal regulation would limit the content of sugars in the flavored milks.
Another would restrict it to certain grade levels, potentially barring chocolate milk from elementary and middle school.
America’s childhood obesity problem is among the worst in the world.