Milk – Should It Be Taken Off The School Menu?
Once again good old milk is at the center of another health controversy!
Late last week I read in Time Magazine that a group of doctors have petitioned the US Government to remove milk from the ‘required foods list’ on the National School Lunch Program. This certainly isn’t the first time milk has been under a microscope. Perform a quick Google search and you’ll find thousands of articles opposing human consumption of the American standby, citing that it causes allergies, inflammation, gastric distress and a whole host of health issues.
Interestingly one my first postings here at Angry Trainer Fitness concerned milk and proved quite controversial (in fact my site producer Richard still disagrees with me on this one – he’s a big milk drinker!)
Personally I think milk and it’s purported health benefits are grossly over rated. For years it’s been billed and sold as a must have in the human diet, that it’s essential for strong bones, teeth and to fight off osteoporosis. Well we now know that’s NOT true and just because you take calcium, no matter the source, it doesn’t mean you’ll absorb it. Nor does it mean that you’ll have stronger bones than those who don’t drink it or have less chance of bone fractures. My conclusion in my original post is that at the end of the day, cow’s milk is for baby calves – you can’t argue that. While I don’t oppose a cup here and there, a sprinkle of cheese, Greek yogurt or use of whey protein, I don’t see milk as an essential ingredient in a child’s lunch or even in an adult’s diet.
Fact is I’d much prefer for kids to drink water in school along with eating whole, natural foods. One of the biggest issues I run into as a trainer is trying to get people to drink plain old water! If there were to be a mandatory liquid in school, it should be H2O as far as I’m concerned. While many schools have removed chocolate milk from the lunch menu, even a small pint of whole milk can pack 150 calories, up to 5 grams of fat and contain lactose – a sugar that many people have an intolerance too. Why waste 150 calories on liquid when kids can eat REAL food? Serve them some fruit, vegetables and lean proteins with bottled water. In fact I had attended lunch with one of my sons and he didn’t want the milk that was standard issue with lunch. When we asked for bottled water, I was told I’d have to pay $1.50! That’s crazy – pay more for water than milk? It sounds like some government backdoor deals if you ask me!
The other issue I have with the calories in milk is that despite many schools attempts to make their food choices better, from what I see the calorie counts are still too high. By eliminating milk we know at least 100 – 150 calories will drop off the total and that’s a good thing. If parents want their children to drink milk then they should send them in with it, not make it a mandatory ingredient in every child’s meal. When you start looking into allergies, intolerance and other health related issues, the evidence is quite overwhelming. In fact according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, about 1.3 MILLION children are intolerant. I wonder how many kids are drinking milk that have issues and aren’t aware? Or the parents for that matter.
Look who doesn’t like a cold glass of milk with a cookie (s), or milk products? They’re all creamy, delicious and can be eaten many different ways. I think if you love milk and milk products than you should continue to use it. I do. I use Greek yogurt from time to time, some cheese here and there and everyone knows I’m an ice cream addict. But that’s not the issue here. The issue is whether or not milk should be a required food group in school lunches. And to that I’d have to say no. With so many other nutritious foods to eat that contain calcium and vitamins A and D, why drink milk? The interesting thing is that kids are only in school for one meal out of an entire day. Yet the proponents of milk say it’s crucial for children’s development. School is for education NOT for sending your kids off to get all of their daily nutritional needs. As parents, you should be feeding your kids healthy breakfasts, snacks and dinners. I think the schools have enough responsibility in educating our kids.
When it comes to banning milk from school lunches I’m all for it. But what about you? Do you drink milk? Do your kids – and would you support a ban? Why?
All information contained within this site, Angry Trainer Fitness.com, is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this website. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health or on any opinions expressed within this website. Please see your physician before changing your diet, starting an exercise program, or taking any supplements of any kind.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Alfonso on July 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm, and is filed under NEWS, NUTRITION. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
about 2 months ago - 12 comments
Hi Alfonso, I’ve been following you for months now and I want to thank you for what you do. I know you’re a big fan of the Paleo diet but I have concerns about the dairy restrictions. And I have two small children ages 4 & 7. My doctor has always suggested my kids drink…
about 1 year ago - 12 comments
So here we go again with another Fitness Fact Or Fiction. This question was posed by my site producer Richard, who wanted to know if it was really true that you should drink chocolate milk after a workout. Surely such a sugary drink can’t fit with a healthy diet? Okay… Well first up I must…