Study: Schools’ Chocolate Milk Bans May Backfire

DETROIT (WWJ) – Some schools in other states are banning a popular drink, but new research says it could actually backfire.

Concern over the sugar in chocolate milk has led some elementary schools to ban it, but a Cornell University study shows removing it from the menu has negative consequences.

Researchers found when schools ban chocolate milk, milk sales drop an average of 10 percent, almost a third of white milk gets thrown out, and some kids opt of school lunches altogether.

“Members of the (sample) school district’s PTA were adamantly opposed to offering chocolate milk in the cafeterias, claiming it was as bad as soda,” said Andrew Hanks, lead author and research associate Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, in a news release. “While this policy does eliminate the added sugar in chocolate milk, it also introduces a new set of nutritional and economic consequences. Children typically don’t choose foods for health, but rather for taste.”

Nutritionally, after the switch, kids got less sugar and fewer calories, but protein and calcium intake fell too.

Researchers say instead of banning chocolate milk, schools could make white milk appear more convenient, by putting in it the front of the cooler, and making sure at least one-third to half of all the milk is white.

That approach can increase sales by 20 percent or more.

Learn more about the research HERE.

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