New York City Public Schools Advocates Chocolate Milk Ban

Morgan Barnett, 7, drinks from containers of one percent milk and chocolate milk during lunch at the Four Seasons Elementary School in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday, June 29, 2006. The lunch included applesauce, baked tater tots and sloppy joes on wheat buns. Schools have until the end of summer to …
AP Photo/Eric Miller

The New York City Department of Education is calling for a ban on chocolate milk in all of its public schools, according to a report.

The New York Post reported that Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and other school leaders are backing a “white milk only policy,” saying that the sugar in chocolate milk is a health concern for students.

“The thinking is that these kids are already getting too much sugar, why are they getting it in their milk?’’ one city Department of Education source told the Post, adding that higher-ups “are discussing what to do and how to do it.’’

San Francisco and Washington, DC, have pushed similar chocolate milk bans, as well as Los Angeles. Los Angeles eventually reversed the chocolate milk ban because it was so unpopular.

Families are divided on the issue, with some saying the ban will not solve dietary problems.

“The schools serve other sugary drinks that are no better — juices and sodas,” said Joanna Ditommasa, the mother of ten-year-old student Caterina Ditommasa at PS 58 in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. “The real problem is that New York City lunches are unhealthy in general, all prepackaged and full of preservatives.”

Caterina’s father, however, had a different perspective.

“Not to be a health nazi,” he said, “but it’s not the worst idea.’’

The New York City Education Department said it had not made a final decision on the ban.

“Our priority is the health and well-being of our students, and every day, we offer a variety of healthy, delicious, and free meal options that exceed USDA standards,” the New York City Department of Education said in a statement. “We look forward to discussing our menu with these members of Congress.”

At the federal level, the Trump administration is doing the opposite. In December 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rolled back an Obama-era regulation that banned chocolate milk in public schools nationwide.


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