I’m a little behind on this one, but this passed week, the Los Angeles School District became the largest school district in the nation to announce a ban on flavored milk. If you hadn’t heard about it, read an article on it here.
The Associated Press pointed out that the school district joins a growing number of school districts nationwide, including District of Columbia, Boulder Valley, Colo., and Berkeley, Calif., that serve only plain milk because of the added sugar contained in flavored versions.
The ban came about largely in part from the efforts of British TV chef Jamie Oliver, whose current season of the ABC show “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” focuses on the California school district. If you’ve watched any of the recent episodes, you will see what a struggle he has come up against trying to educate children on the benefits of good health.
But, someone was listening. Some 6,000 L.A. parents signed a petition for the ban of flavored milk, which Oliver said had as much sugar in it as a candy bar. Finally, the district’s superintendent, John Deasy, got the message Oliver was trying to deliver. He announced the proposal to ban flavored milk starting July 1.
Health experts applauded it. But, of course, not everyone is happy.
As quoted in the article, board member Tamar Galatzan said “I really don’t understand why we’re letting a TV chef dictate our policy.” Glatzan pointed out that health advocates including the American Heart Association say the nutritional benefits of flavored milk outweigh the harm of added sugar.
Where do you stand on the flavored milk debate?
While I’ve made it a goal to limit what dairy my family and I consume, I understand how for a lot of people, it’s the only source of calcium they get and it’s a good source of protein. So, I understand how many people want to have kids drink milk no matter what.
I support bans like this because sugar can be addicting, and starting our kids so young on sugar-laden foods and drinks – even encouraging them – is not a good thing. Having kids consume that much sugar on a daily basis is setting them up for a load of health problems down the road. Do kids a favor and save the yummy chocolate milk for special occasions.
* If you want to read more about Oliver’s “Food Revolution” mission and how you can help change the course of the nation’s health, go here.