The Chicago Tribune is profiling the battle over milk that has ignited in several of the Windy City's school districts.
On the one hand, you have administrators and parents supporting the inclusion of milk in school cafeterias, "amid concerns that dairy consumption is waning among older children who have more beverage choices, from flavored water to energy drinks. Nine of every 10 preteen girls fall short of the federally recommended three calcium servings a day... for boys, the estimate is 7 of 10."
Then there are those concerned with flavored non-skim milks contributing to childhood obesity. Huh??
"A half-pint of low-fat chocolate milk has 3 teaspoons of added sugar... [and] those extra 75 calories raise a concern, given that surveys compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that 17 percent of school-age children are obese."
Whoever is concerned about those additional 75 calories seriously needs to reevaluate their priorities.
Childhood obesity is not caused by opting for low-fat chocolate milk over non-flavored skim milk at lunchtime.
All you need to do is look at the numbers. As childhood obesity rates have skyrocketed, milk consumption has decreased.
What has increased? Soda consumption -- overwhelmingly so!
It is those beverages, plus chips, breakfast toaster pastries, and supersize fast food portions -- staples of so many American teenagers' diets -- that should truly be "of concern."
It's also rather laughable to think that some schools are concerned with milk but apparently don't take issue with their almost daily offerings of meatloaf, chicken nuggets, and fruit canned in heavy syrup.
A glass of low-fat chocolate milk with a healthy lunch is harmless. This apparent phobia of 1% (reduced-fat) milk is beyond my comprehension.
We are talking about 2.5 grams of total fat, of which 1.5 gram are saturated, per cup. Perfectly reasonable numbers, as far as I'm concerned.