Another Food Nanny Success: Total milk intake dropped by nearly half when chocolate milk removed from school program

… and missing nutrients not replaced.


The media release is below.


Total milk intake dropped by nearly half when chocolate milk removed from school program

New study first to investigate impacts of milk choice in Canadian elementary schools


Researchers from the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan measured milk consumption (plain milk and flavoured milk) by children in a sample of Saskatoon elementary schools. This is the first study in a Canadian elementary school population to investigate the impact of removing chocolate milk from schools.

Studies show that milk is very important for children’s health as it contain many nutrients for growth and development. Sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D are required during childhood and adolescence because a significant amount of adult bone mass is accrued during this time. Milk is a good source of these nutrients as well as other important nutrients. Unfortunately without school-based milk programs, children are not likely getting enough.

Current policies in many schools have led to the removal of flavoured milk because of the amount of added sugar. However, this research shows that when flavoured milk is removed from the school, total milk intake drops by nearly half.

In this study, researchers used nutrient modelling to replace what was lost when children stopped drinking milk, and found that combinations of foods tested were not feasible due to cost and the number of additional foods needed to replace the missing nutrients.

While some schools may limit access to flavoured milk, presumably due to concerns that these beverages may provide unhealthy levels of added sugars and fat, the study showed that a very low number of children are drinking milk in school, the numbers dropped significantly (41%) when flavoured milk was removed. Additionally, of the students who chose plain milk there was a greater amount of milk wasted. Given children’s preferential intake of chocolate milk further studies into whether children will accept lower sugar formulations need to be investigated. The authors suggest that policies should be in place to promote drinking milk rather than limiting it.


The study “Impact of the removal of chocolate milk from school milk programs for children in Saskatoon Canada” was published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism today.

18 thoughts on “Another Food Nanny Success: Total milk intake dropped by nearly half when chocolate milk removed from school program”

  1. Pocket knife is interesting. I got my first pocket knife when I was 7 from my Grandpa, in the mid 1970s. First thing I did was take it to school and show all my friends.

    I got my daughter her first pocket knife and in had to tell her, whatever you do, don’t take it to school or you will be suspended for a week.

    What a crazy paranoid world we now live in. It wasn’t always that way.

  2. When discussing the philosophy of parenting, much of it comes down to what we think we are teaching our children, versus what they are actually learning. Naturally, some people are just not very good at manipulation, while others are extremely good at it. In the case of my parenting techniques, I would always wait a while after doing a parental manipulation, and then tell my children what I had done, and why. At first, they were always quite angry, both at me for doing the manipulation, and then at themselves for having responded to it. However, they learned several things from it. First, they realized that they could be manipulated in subtle or not-so-subtle ways. Second, they realized that manipulation can sometimes be for their own good. Third, they learned to recognize ways that people manipulate others. And fourth, they realized that they themselves could do manipulation of others. If you think about it, all of us are subject to various types of manipulation, throughout our lives. As adults, we can be manipulated by monetary threats, such as fear of losing our jobs. All advertisement is aimed at manipulating us into buying something, or the very least coveting something. And in the schools, the government is trying to manipulate children to disbelieve their own preference for chocolate milk over unflavored milk. Quite a good sign, that so many children reject the Party Line, and choose to exercise their freedom to reject something. There may be hope for this country after all.

  3. Congrats on your success at child-rearing…….As for me, I wouldn’t have tried any kind of manipulation or tom-foolery, partly because my kids would never have fallen for it and they read everything in sight anyway….

  4. Well, in the canyons around where I live, there is unexploded ordnance, and unfortunately kids sometimes find it. That involved a more direct approach, though I had a few Army manuals scattered about that dealt with it also.

  5. Actually, they were taught knife safety. Gave them pocket knives, and made sure there were lots of bandaids in the medicine cabinet. They learned that a knife is a very good tool, and also learned how to do basic first aid. Within a few years, they were very good at using kitchen knives, and knew how to keep their fingers out of the way.

    Guns and explosives were done during their teenage years. A little more direct, because they needed to know the absolute damage that could be done. Not that easy to shoot a rabbit running across a clearing, and cleaning one is messy. A few large boulders were reduced to gravel. Then again, not many moms work with explosives for a living.

  6. Yeah………………….one consistent approach. I guess….
    How about this situation: [What is the ‘correct’ parental instruction?]
    ‘Hey mom, I just found this little rusty pineapple gizmo in the garden: what should I do with it?…….’
    ‘Drop it / be careful not to drop it on the concrete and avoid / try hitting it with a hammer…….’
    How many wrongs make a right and when?????

  7. Sound reasoning, 1957chev. I know that without the ubiquitous Milo or Ovaltine, my children would not have consumed the recommended daily intake of milk.

  8. Logic and reason are the best “tools” you can arm your children with.
    An inquiring mind seeks.

  9. ‘Can’t trust moms’
    Just curious, Janice, but how exactly did you teach your children [e.g.] safety with firearms [or did their father do this??????]

  10. I gave my children books and flashlights, and then told them they were never ever allowed to read under the covers at night. I also made sure to tell them there were some books in the house that were “inappropriate” for them to read at their age. Amazing how those particular books would disappear for a few weeks, and then show up again. Stuff like Shakespeare and other classics. Can’t trust moms.

  11. When my children were pre-schoolers, I quickly learned that trying to force them to do something specific not only triggered resistance, but often would lead to contrarian behaviour. Like their parents, our children strongly dislike being pressured to do anything (the authoritarian’s nightmare!)
    To get them to read and to eat well, we merely made sure the necessary materials were available, and then watched to see which ones they liked best. If they like what they get they’ll take it, and if they don’t like it then it is wasted.
    My son was using the computer and microwave at age 3, reading books by age 5, and had read *all* the Harry Potter books by age 10 (and none of the Dr. Seuss books), all on a diet of apple juice and pizza rolls (which he nuked by himself).
    He is now a pharmacy technician, personal trainer and nutritionist.
    My point is, pressuring kids to do what YOU want them to never works (except for the most compliant of sheep).

  12. The milk truck left the milk in crates of half pint bottles at 06:00.
    At 10:30 after sitting for at least 3 hours in the sun, the warm [now separated] full-cream milk was distributed to us kids for our ‘welfare’……
    How I avoided throwing up I’ll never know….I managed to get my mother to supply me with a few drops of vanilla essence to mask the nauseating sensation but the teacher confiscated this……Eventually I got a note from my mother asking for me to be ‘excused milk’
    If we had been supplied with chilled, chocolate flavored milk I would have welcomed it as a treat [as I still do]……………..
    How the hell we survived the atrocities of mid-20th century ‘education’ I’ll never know…………………………….

  13. So true. So many of the policies implemented seem to be just to show us who’s boss. Another thing that has always interested me is the strain of neo-Puritanism that runs through almost all of the recommendations of the food nannies and environmentalists. It is no coincidence that practically all the foods they regard as toxic are those that people really like to eat. Environmentalists rail against any technology that provides comfort for people and makes their lives easier. They seem to hate people and this becomes startlingly clear when you read the literature that they write for each other rather than the platitudes they give out to the media for general consumption.

  14. Like most government mandated food programs for children, control is what matters – not actual help for the children involved.

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