San Francisco Bans Chocolate Milk After Two-Year Effort

Chocolate milk (Eden, Janine and Jim / Flickr / CC)
Eden, Janine and Jim / Flickr / CC

A new ban on chocolate milk starting this fall marks the latest wet blanket in San Francisco schools.

San Francisco city school district officials have decided to ban chocolate milk from elementary through high school according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Chocolate milk will be stripped from elementary and middle schools starting in the fall, and in high schools starting in the spring.

The San Francisco Unified School District’s (SFUSD) Board of Education set in motion its effort to rid the schools of chocolate milk back in April 2015, when it approved a “wellness policy.” The policy stated that Student Nutrition Services would “explore ways to phase out” chocolate milk under the policy.

Cutting out chocolate milk was tested in five area schools in the past year, according to the report. In two, there was no change in milk consumption, while the other three saw a dip. Los Angeles Unified School District cut out chocolate milk for six years, but after a 21-school pilot study last year, the district is reinstating it to “increase milk consumption and reduce waste.”

The L.A. Unified study determined that offering the flavored milk could increase consumption by 23 percent. The Chronicle also summarized the findings of a Cornell University study that showed “while banning chocolate milk could reduce calorie and sugar consumption, it could also mean less milk consumed, more waste and fewer kids buying school lunch.”

The American Heart Association has also studied chocolate milk and found it provided the same nutritional benefits that white milk does, and did not adversely affect the weight of children and adolescents, according to report.

In 2013, Baylor College of Medicine experts highlighted the workout recovery benefits of the calcium-laden sweet drink, according to Dairy Herd. Protein and carbohydrates combine with chocolate milk and serve to both rebuild and repair damaged tissue while replenishing energy.

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and Olympic swimmer Jessica Hardy have each praised chocolate milk as a favorite post-workout drink. They are among many athletes to promote the drink as beneficial.

San Francisco school district officials appear dead-set on nixing chocolate milk. The district has already cut soda, cookies, and other sweet items.

The SFUSD wellness policy states that “Nutrition education curricula” would be integrated into Common Core as well as “other academic subjects in the regular educational program, before- and after-school programs, summer learning programs, career education programs, and school garden programs.”

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.