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Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska

Is drinking flavored milk healthy?

June 12, 2012Dairy

Recently, there has been a lot of talk from school officials and different groups trying to pull chocolate milk from schools. They say that it has too much sugar to be a healthy and good choice for school kids. This idea came from Jamie Oliver. He filled up a school bus with sand to represent the amount of sugar that schools in the Los Angeles Unified School Disctrict have in their milk per week. I had to admit that at first to me that seemed like a lot of sugar!

However, some key facts were being left out.  For example, that District serves close to 700,000 students and 45,000 teachers. It’s the second largest district in the nation! But seriously 700,00 students and a bus full of sugar, that’s barely enough for a spoonful of sugar per day! But it’s not just a situation in the L.A. area.  There are schools all across the nation comparing chocolate milk to pop. Is it fair to only compare the two on sugar content alone? Even though milk offers so many other health benefits?!

Flavored milk has the same nine essential nutrients as white milk- calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, phosphorus, protein, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and niacin. For me this is incredibly important because all my life I have been drinking milk. Whole milk, chocolate milk, if there was a milk option I usually chose it.  I have made it through 20 years of my life without a broken or fractured bone, which I consider a bit of a miracle. Now that may not impress many people but then I look at my siblings. Between the four of us not one broken or fractured body part! We all were very active whether it be in sports or working on the farm.  Now this may not all be because of my love for milk, but I believe my family has stronger bones because we drink milk frequently.  

I encourage you to drink milk and/or flavored milk, so your body is strong and healthy.  So YES, drinking flavored milk is healthy!

 

 

Fast Facts about flavored milk:

 -Flavored milk accounts for less than 3.5% of added sugar intake in children ages 6-12. The percentage decreases with age.

-According to a recent study in 7 school districts across the US, overall milk consumption drops 35% when flavored milk is not offered at lunch.

To learn more facts about flavored milk and its nutrional benefits, check out this Midwest Dairy article.