Monday, May 19th, 2014
Connecticut legislators have sent to the governor a measure that would prohibit public schools from offering chocolate milk and some juices to children, citing the beverages’ links to imbalanced nutrition when it comes to fat, salt, and sugar. More from CBS News:
If he signs it, Connecticut would be the first state in the country — not just a single school district –to ban chocolate milk in school cafeterias. The law would go into effect next September.
Politicians in the state faced pressure to pass school nutrition rules or risk forfeiting funds from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a federal policy that sets requirements for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Nutrition Programs, which includes its school lunch program. However, the USDA points out that the Act does not ban individual food items. A USDA spokesperson told CBS News that it does require flavored milks to be non-fat.
Under the state proposal, schools in Connecticut would only be allowed to serve low-fat, unflavored milk and beverages without artificial sweeteners, added sodium or more than four grams of sugar per ounce.
Chocolate milk contains high fructose corn syrup and up to 200 milligrams of sodium, which means it won’t make the cut.
Some child nutritionists think the proposed law will backfire and jeopardize the health of children in the state. Jill Castle, a registered dietician and nutritionist from New Canaan, Conn., told CBS affiliate WFSB that when chocolate milk is removed from the cafeteria the overall consumption of milk goes down.
“From a nutrient profile, you’re getting calcium, vitamin D, potassium, phosphorous, protein, and other nutrients,” said Castle.
But some food experts disagree. Marlene Schwartz, director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, says the ban means that the food industry will simply need to adjust.
“This isn’t going to keep out flavored milk,” Schwartz told the Hartford Courant. “All it’s going to do it make sure the flavored milk that’s in there is not going to have added salt.”
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