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Posts Tagged ‘childhood obesity’

Vitamin-Enriched Chocolate Milk Facing School Ban

Thursday, May 12th, 2011


It’s been called “soda in drag.” Chocolate milk may soon be banned from schools, despite being high in calcium, protein and many essential vitamins. School authorities are concerned about added sugar, but others argue that flavored milk has redeeming health benefits that override the extra calories.


Child obesity has become a serious health issue in America, and school boards are doing all they can to teach school children better eating habits. By teaching kids how to read nutrition labels, removing soda machines from school campuses and providing healthier menus in the school cafeterias, various school systems are proving that they are willing to go the extra mile to reverse the tide of obesity among our children.

But is the nutritional value of a bottle of chocolate milk really equivalent to that of a can of coke? And does one cup of plain white milk really have significantly less sugar than one cup of flavored milk? Let’s compare:

  • One 8-ounce serving of white milk has 14 grams of natural sugar(lactose).
  • Fat-free chocolate milk has 20 grams of sugar, accounting for an extra 6 grams.
  • Fat-free strawberry milk and an 8-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola each have 27 grams of sugar. But while the sugary strawberry milk at least has calcium and vitamins like vitamin B12, vitamin A and vitamin D, the Coca-Cola company can make no such claims about their soft drink.
  • Also read: Vitamin B12 For Kids


    You can lead a child to white milk, but you can’t make him drink it

    Statistics say that chocolate milk account for over 70% of all milk consumed in school between classes. Kids are more likely to reach for a bottle of low-fat chocolate milk over a carton of plain whole cow’s milk. Both varieties are high in calcium, protein, phosphorus, riboflavin, potassium, niacin and vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin B12. Both are healthy for strong bones and teeth, preventing osteoporosis and refueling after physical activity. But while the plain milk has 6 fewer grams of sugar, the chocolate milk wins by popular vote. According to some nutritionists, the extra 6 grams of sugar aren’t very significant in a child’s healthy diet, providing that his other nutritional requirements are also being met. An adolescent who gets enough low-fat protein, healthy carbohydrates and high-fiber fruits and vegetables isn’t going to be much affected by an extra 6 grams of sugar in his calcium intake.

    Also read: Let’s Move: Michelle Obama Moving On Up the Wal-Mart Aisles

    Previous attempts to ban flavored milk turned sour

    School districts which are considering joining the chocolate milk ban bandwagon are Los Angeles Unified, Berkeley, and Washington. But their chances for success aren’t good, at least not if you look at previous attempts to remove flavored milk from public school facilities. According to the Milk Processors Education Program, milk consumption drops by 35% whenever school boards remove chocolate milk from the kids menu. Even the Florida Board of Education has apparently backtracked on their proposed ban on sugary flavored milk beverages.


    Parents are still split on the issue. Many agree that plain cow’s milk is healthier than flavored milk, but concede that drinking a bottle of chocolate milk every day is still better than drinking no milk at all. Some point out that children can get calcium from other sources, such as broccoli. That may be true, and parents should encourage their children to eat vegetables at home that are rich in vitamin, in addition to protein sources of B12 and the like. But it’ll be a cold day you-know-where before a school kid chooses steamed broccoli at the cafeteria lunch counter over a cold bottle of chocolate milk.


    MS NBC, CNN, Fox News

    Let’s Move: Michelle Obama Moving On Up the Wal-Mart Aisles

    Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

    As part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative the first lady took her campaign to the aisles of Wal-Mart. Her message to the world’s largest retailer:  to provide healthier food products with less sugar and salt, and to entirely remove trans-fats from their shelves over the next five years.

    Michelle Obama in the news

    In this latest televised You Tube news video Michelle Obama orates from the produce section of a Washington Wal-Mart and delivers her speech. She demands that Wal-Mart president Bill Simon pledge that within the next five years Wal-Mart will remove all products containing unhealthy trans-fats from their warehouse, stock their grocery shelves with products containing dramatically lower sugar and salt content and pump up their fresh produce section, all the while maintaining Wal-Mart’s competitively low pricing.

    Attributing America’s childhood obesity crisis to the lack of selection of fresh produce in the more poverty-stricken states combined with the escalating costs of nutritious foods, the first lady hopes that this new Wal-Mart measure will encourage parents to make more health-conscious food choices when shopping for their families.

    Let’s Move in the White House

    Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move project is part of a national attempt to address childhood obesity, which has more than tripled in 30 years; approximately 1 out of 3 children between the ages of 6 and 19 in the US are obese.

    Health risks associated with childhood obesity include:

    • Heart disease
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Asthma
    • Sleep apnea
    • Social discrimination
    • High cholesterol
    • High blood pressure

    “In the end, as First Lady, this isn’t just a policy issue for me. This is a passion. This is my mission. I am determined to work with folks across this country to change the way a generation of kids thinks about food and nutrition.”

    - First Lady Michelle Obama, on Childhood Obesity Task Force report

    Wal-Mart CEO Bill Simon heartily accepted the first lady’s challenge, replying, “No family should have to choose between food that is healthier for them and food they can afford.”

    Wal-Mart pledges not only to cut their prices on produce and eliminate high sugar and sodium; the retailer will also step up on their charitable support for various healthy food programs aimed at educating the public about health and fitness.






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