The Death of Chocolate Milk

Parents in wealthy LA suburbs are getting restless.

This year, in the face of mounting pressure, the Los Angeles Unified School District voted to ban chocolate and strawberry milk entirely from Los Angeles public schools. The district’s board of education voted 5 to 2 to remove flavored milk after intense pressure from Mr. Oliver and parents of children in the district, some of whom held protests outside the district’s headquarters organized by the activist group FoodForLunch.

Apparently many are beginning to feel like flavored milks in school are culprits in the childhood obesity problem. Sugar levels in chocolate milk aren’t very different from soda’s or other desserts. The problem of course, is that funneling children into the “right” behavior typically requires more than just eliminating one bad option. Instead of substituting white milk for chocolate milk, they usually substitute in another dessert.

One study by MilkPEP in 2009 looked at what happened when 58 elementary and secondary schools in seven districts around the country removed flavored milk from their cafeterias, either entirely or only on select days of the week. The study found as a result that milk consumption among elementary school students fell by 35 percent. The average daily consumption of milk per student, meanwhile, fell to four ounces at schools where only white milk was offered.

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