Flavored milk no longer a choice in LA schools

Jun 15, 2011 By CHRISTINA HOAG , Associated Press

(AP) -- The Los Angeles Unified School District is taking a stand against child obesity, becoming the nation's largest school system to stop serving sugar-laden flavored milk.

The board on Tuesday voted to eliminate chocolate and strawberry milk from schools as of July 1.

LAUSD joins a growing number of school districts nationwide, including in the District of Columbia, Boulder Valley, Colo., and Berkeley, Calif., that serve only plain milk because of the added sugar contained in flavored versions.

The proposal by Superintendent John Deasy came after popular British TV chef Jamie Oliver criticized the district in recent months for serving flavored milks, saying they contain the sugar equivalent of a .

In one stunt on his ABC show "Food Revolution," he filled a school bus with sand to represent the amount of added sugar LAUSD students consume in a year through flavored milk.

Some board members were rankled by the perception that the district was caving in to Oliver, who unsuccessfully lobbied the district to be allowed to film in local schools.

"I really don't understand why we're letting a TV chef dictate our policy," said board member Tamar Galatzan, who noted that many health advocates including the say the nutritional benefits of flavored milk outweigh the harm of added sugar.

Some advocates say that drops when children are not offered the option of chocolate and other flavors.

She noted the district serves containing 27 to 29 grams of sugar per serving, more than the amount of sugar in flavored milk - 20 grams in 8 ounces of fat-free and 27 grams in fat-free strawberry.

Galatzan was the lone dissenter on the board.

The board's decision was applauded by several proponents in the audience.

"Thirty percent of our kids are obese or are on track to diabetes," said Jennie Cook of Food for Lunch, a coalition advocating nutritious school food. She has been pushing the district to eliminate flavored milk for the past year. "This is a social justice issue."

Emily Ventura, a researcher with the University of Southern California's Childhood Research Center, noted that a number of experts did not recommend flavored milk as a healthy choice. She said 6,000 LAUSD parents had signed a petition to eliminate flavored milk from the district.

Some school districts have opted for a middle road, using natural sweeteners like cane sugar, beet and Truvia to sweeten milks instead of high-fructose corn syrup based flavorings.

But others say children should learn to drink plain milk.

LAUSD has about 688,000 students, second only to the New York City Department of Education.

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dogbert
1 / 5 (2) Jun 15, 2011
1) Schools should not be dictating what our children can and cannot consume. Those decisions belong to the parents -- not some nanny state.

2) The schools keep modifying food choices badly. Instead of flavored skim milk or plain skim milk, why not allow the children to have whole milk?

For the record, skim milk contains more sugar than whole milk. But it tastes bad so many children won't drink it.
jvanderh
3.3 / 5 (3) Jun 15, 2011
When they say eliminate from schools, they mean that they won't serve it in the cafeteria, not that parents aren't allowed to pack it in a lunch. I see that as reasonable and not as excess government intervention. I support what Jamie is trying to do, but I think the sugar argument is pretty stupid because they don't subtract the lactose (as pointed out by the juice comparison). It's sensationalism. I agree that whole milk should be served. Overall, I guess it's a step in the right direction. That artificial pink strawberry milk rubs me completely the wrong way.
dogbert
1 / 5 (2) Jun 15, 2011
I disagree with your acceptance of the school directing parents not to send milk with their children.
FrankHerbert
3 / 5 (2) Jun 19, 2011
Holy shit you STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID person. Where in the hell did anyone say this dogbert?

1) Schools should not be dictating what our children can and cannot consume. Those decisions belong to the parents -- not some nanny state.


Who suggested this? Where in the article is this said? Why are you so stupid? Don't be so stupid you stupid moron.

I disagree with your acceptance of the school directing parents not to send milk with their children.


I take offense to your stupidity. Stop being stupid.

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