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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SMMUSD Board to Consider Whether Flavored Milk Should Be Pulled from School Menus

• Concern Voiced about Sugar Content

BY KAYLA BROWN

Parents, educators, and community members have indicated that they are going to push for food reform within the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.
One of the first targets of the campaign is the flavored milk provided for students by school dining services, which they maintain is unhealthy and unnecessary.
The opponents of flavored milk are seeking healthier alternatives to the beverage’s sugar content.
They challenge the National Dairy Council statement that “kids drink less milk, and get fewer nutrients” if flavored milk is no longer an option.
Leading opponent, Dr. Harriet Fraser, countered in a press release sent to the Malibu Surfside News, “Too much added sugar in the diet is dangerous and can eventually lead to diabetes.”
Although the NDC indicates that “adding [artificial] flavors to milk doesn’t take away its essential nutrients,” Fraser and her associates quote the same source, revealing that “an 8 oz. carton of flavored milk contains 16 grams of added sugar, plus approximately 12 grams of milk’s natural sugar, for a total of 28 grams of sugar per serving.”
The quantity of sugar in flavored milk has brought on a rapid coalition of motivated supporters.
With over 700 signed petitions to date, the group requests the removal of flavored milks and the insertion of additional sources of calcium, such as “unsweetened milk, other dairy products, leafy greens, soy nuts, and beans.”
Whether to consider removal of flavored milk from the menu at the SMMUSD is scheduled for discussion at the July 20 school board meeting.
Information on the group’s efforts to “serve kids the best nutrition possible” is available at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/noflavoredmilkinsmmusd/ or contact Dr. Harriet Fraser at drharrietfraser@me.com.

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