If insanity is defined as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result, we may need to open a clinic for anti-milk activists such as the puritanical Center for Science in the Public Interest. For years, these self-anointed do-gooders have bemoaned chocolate milk and have tried to get the tasty and nutritious beverage banned in schools, despite growing evidence that such bans do more harm than good.
A new study sheds further light on the folly of keeping chocolate milk away from our kids. When chocolate milk is not offered as an option at school lunch, “Students take 10 percent less milk, waste 29 percent more and may even stop eating school meals,” according to Andrew Hanks of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. Researchers collected data at 11 Oregon elementary schools where chocolate milk had been banned and replaced with white skim milk. Their findings were published in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed journal.
This new study builds on previous academic research into the negative effect of chocolate milk bans on milk consumption. One study found that elementary school children drank 35 percent less milk after banning chocolate milk. Meanwhile, there is no reason to believe reasonable levels of chocolate milk consumption cause childhood obesity. We remain unsurprised to see the food police pretending otherwise.
Where chocolate milk bans have been tried, they have frequently failed. In West Virginia, Cabell County schools put non-fat chocolate milk back on the lunch lines because kids “boycotted the [unflavored] milk,” according to the school district’s Director of Food Services. In Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, North Carolina, schools opted to keep chocolate milk after a parental outcry forced the superintendent to back off a planned ban.
The same thing happened in Fairfax County, Virginia a few years ago. Students were throwing plain milk in the trash instead of drinking it, while parents became irritated at school officials who micro-managed their kids’ lunch trays. Thanks to protests from parents, public school officials reinstated chocolate milk as an option after realizing they were neglecting students’ nutritional needs.