Let's Really Move Milk Out of School Lunches
In July, PCRM petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture to remove milk as a required food group in the National School Lunch Program. Ounce for ounce, skim milk offers almost the same calorie load as soda plus 5 milligrams of cholesterol per serving. Several studies also show that milk does not promote bone health or prevent fractures. Milk is the biggest source of saturated (“bad”) fat in the diet.
Calcium is essential, milk is not. Students can get the calcium they need from beans, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and kale, tofu, and whole grains.
- Milk does not promote bone health. Recent studies have found that milk and calcium do not prevent stress fractures in adolescent girls.
- Vitamin D and exercise promote healthy bone growth. Students should get an hour of weight-bearing exercise each day and fill up on vitamin D. Studies show vitamin D intake and physical activity prevents bone fractures in teenage girls.
- Milk does not prevent osteoporosis or protect against fracture risk in adult women. In a large, definitive study at Harvard, milk did not reduce fracture risk in adult women.
- Milk will not make you stronger, but it can make you heavier. Milk is high in fat, cholesterol, and sugar.
- A study published in Pediatrics named milk as the No. 1 source of saturated fat for children, 2 to18 years old.
- Milk is high in sugar: Sugar—in the form of lactose—contributes more than 55 percent of skim milk’s calories, giving it a similar calorie load as soda. Almost 17 percent of U.S. students are now obese.
- More than 1 million U.S. students have milk allergies. One in eight U.S. adults is lactose intolerant.
Vegetarian Options for School Lunch Programs
Learn about advantages for children’s health, meeting USDA requirements, menu makeovers, introducing new options, advice for parents, vegetarian product vendors, vegetarian commodities, and additional resources. Download Vegetarian Options for School Lunch Programs (PDF).
Learn more at HealthySchoolLunches.org >