The LA school board made the right decision in banning chocolate and strawberry flavored milk
Resolved: The LA school board made the right decision in banning chocolate and strawberry flavored milk
School board: A local board or committee in charge of public education
Right: In accordance with what is good, proper, or just
Ban: To prohibit
Round one will only be for acceptance.
The Los Angeles Unified School District is taking a stand against child obesity by banning chocolate and strawberry flavored milk. In the past few years, schools in the District of Columbia, Boulder Valley, Colorado, and Berkeley, California have also banned flavored milk.
"The decision to offer only plain milk is clearly better for the students. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a serving of low-fat chocolate milk contains 53 more calories than a serving of low-fat white milk. These are mostly empty calories, which have no nutritional value whatsoever."
A 2005 study by the New York City (NYC) Department of Education found that by removing whole milk and replacing it with low-fat to fat-free chocolate milk, students were served an estimated 5,960 fewer calories and 619 fewer grams of fat per year.(1)
"Chocolate contains oxalate, a naturally occurring compound in cocoa beans, which can inhibit the absorption of calcium. "
�It is present in small enough amounts that the effect on calcium absorption is negligible(2)(3). �As chocolate contains relatively small amounts of oxalate, it is unclear to what extent chocolate consumption affects healthy people who eat calcium-rich diets.
"Opponents of banning flavored milk also argue that some children simply will not drink plain milk. However, most students will select healthy foods if they are prompted to do so. Furthermore, evidence has shown that children who are continually exposed to healthy foods will learn to prefer these foods. These children will also develop a decreased preference for sweetened foods."
Of course, not everyone likes plain milk(4), so by only offering plain milk you're depriving a certain amount of kids their calcium.�Flavoring milk �is the only way to get students to drink it. Milk provides a host of nutrients, including calcium, protein and vitamin D, which recent studies show is deficient in about three-quarters of teenagers and adults.
To simply claim that, under verbal prompts, students will defy their taste buds is ridiculous. The experiment given here is invalid.
"It's better for them to have some milk with some flavoring and a little added sugar than to go without milk," said Ms. Pratt-Heavner, whose organization last month helped release a study that showed that elementary school children drank 35 percent less milk at school on average when flavored milk was removed.
While chocolate milk isn't exactly on par with non-flavored milk in terms of calories, the benefits still outweigh the costs by drinking chocolate milk. There are some students who simply won't drink plain milk, and prefer flavored milk instead. What about those students? Won't someone think of the children?
Kids who drink plain milk will indeed absorb more calcium than those who drink chocolate milk:
My opponent mentioned a study which found that elementary school children drank 35 percent less milk at school on average when flavored milk was removed. As it turns out, this study was funded by the Milk Processor Education Program (MPEP), the dairy industry’s national marketing group (1). The MPEP has spent over a million dollars to promote chocolate milk in schools. As extensive research has shown, the conclusions of a scientific study usually support the interests of the study's financial sponsor (2-3). Therefore, the results of this research article should not be weighted heavily.
When we consider only objective research, we realize that banning flavored milk will not lead to decreased consumption in the long-term. For example, let’s examine the implications of limiting the availability of flavored milk in New York City schools. Beginning in 2006, flavored milk could be purchased only three days a week (4). In this year, most NYC schools also stopped serving whole milk.
Initially, there was an 8% decline in milk purchases following the implementation of these new policies. Several students were probably not accustomed to drinking low-fat, plain milk. As a result, some kids may have initially avoided drinking milk altogether. However, by 2009, milk purchases had actually increased by 1.3% (4). This proves that children will eventually learn to accept unsweetened, low-fat foods.
As Dr. Marlene Schwartz concluded, “It is probable that, immediately following removal of flavored milk from schools, children will drink less milk. Who really is surprised that, given the option, children prefer the taste of flavored milk to unflavored milk? Research with both animals and humans show that we all like the taste of sugar. However, examining what happens in the short-term is inadequate; the relevant question is what happens in the long-term when children are only served unflavored milk” (5).
By serving our children flavored milk, we’re only training them to prefer, and eventually over-consume, sugar-sweetened beverages. Scientific studies show that banning flavored milk does not decrease overall milk consumption. Thus, all of our schools should stop serving flavored milk.
Waater forfeited this round.
By allowing our students to drink flavored milk, we're only training them to prefer sweetened foods. This can have devastating consequences, especially later in life.
I urge everybody to vote pro!
Waater forfeited this round.
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