The Physicians Committee

Sonny Perdue: Keep Chocolate Milk Out of School Lunches

  May 2, 2017    
 
 
 

Sonny Perdue - Keep Chocolate Milk Out of School Lunches

Dairy milk doesn’t do a body good—no matter the flavor or fat content—and shouldn’t be served in school lunches. But Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced yesterday that he is directing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow schools to serve 1 percent flavored milk through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.

Milk creates a surprising range of health issues for students—from acne to bloating, cramps, and diarrhea for all those children who suffer from lactose intolerance, which affects approximately 65 percent of the human population, especially African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, and Asian Americans. And because milk is naturally loaded with lactose sugar and plenty of calories—even before adding chocolate or strawberry flavoring—it’s about the same as soda when it comes to unwanted calories.

When those milk-drinking children reach adulthood, they are at higher risk for more serious health problems, including prostate and breast cancers, hip fractures, and even early death.

But students reduced their risk for these diseases when the USDA restricted flavored milk in school lunches a few years ago: “In just the first two years after low-fat flavored milk was removed from the program, 1.1 million fewer school students drank milk with their lunch,” said the National Milk Producers Federation yesterday.

That’s good for students, but bad for business. Sec. Perdue said yesterday that “we also have a responsibility to our shareholders.” Who are these shareholders? The dairy industry, of course. The International Dairy Foods Association said that “when kids don't drink milk, it's extremely difficult for them to get the proper amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin D and other nutrients that dairy foods supply."

That’s simply not true. Grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fortified foods can provide all of these nutrients—without the health risks of milk.

But Sec. Perdue says that “milk is a key component of school meals, meaning schools must have more options for students who select milk as part of their lunch or breakfast.”

Then one of those options should be plant milks, which would likely be more popular than flavored dairy milk. Sales of almond milk grew 250 percent between 2010 and 2015, while the total milk market shrank by more than $1 billion.

Sec. Perdue should put the health of the nation’s students before dairy industry shareholders by keeping flavored milks out of school lunches.

Comments

Keep Chocolate Milk Out of School Lunches

We have evidence based science that milk Does NOT do a body good. In fact it does a body harm. It is high fat, high cholesterol, high growth hormone, etc. We can get calcium from other nut milk and non animal milks and products that are fortified as milk is with calcium as well as green leafy vegetables and beans. All of which DO - do a body good. At least no harm.

Keep chocolate milk out of schools lunches

Healthy lunches do not include chocolate milk. The healthy changes that were made by the Obama Admn. have been an adjustment, but schools has adjusted and kids are now getting healthy food. Many children don't have access to healthy food at home and it is critical that schools be allowed to continue making the best choices for healthy kids.

Another straw man argument

Another straw man argument -- 1) 65% of American school children do not belong to the minority populations cited by the author so you cannot accept his inference that 65% of kids are lactose intolerant. Even if they were it is important to know what you are intolerant or allergic to and adopt consumption functions that suit the individual. 2) Offering flavored milk does not restrict kids from continuing to drink whatever the Obama meal plan offered (bottled water?).

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