April 17, 2024

USDA proposal could limit flavored milk in schools

2 min read

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New proposed federal requirements for college meals consists of two prospective selections for flavored milk in educational facilities. A single selection is to only provide flavored milk in high university, and the other would allow all college students to have flavored milk but would restrict how a lot sugar is in the milk.

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Resource hyperlink The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released a proposal that could drastically reduce the availability of flavored milk in schools across the nation.

If the proposal passes, schools that participate in the federal school meal programs will only offer white milk, flavored strawberry milk, and flavored lactose-free milk to students. Flavored chocolate milk, vanilla milk, and other flavored milks will no longer be available in participating schools. Under the new restrictions, flavored milks that do not meet federal nutrition standards must be removed from school menus.

The proposal has been introduced in response to evidence that flavored milks, which often contain more sugar than white milk, may be contributing to childhood obesity. As obesity rates for children continues to rise, policymakers have increasingly turned to schools as a way of introducing nutrition education and encouraging healthy eating habits. While flavored milks can provide needed calcium and other essential vitamins, the sugar content can make them an unhealthy choice for some children.

The USDA proposal has been met with strong opposition from the dairy industry. Companies such as Dean Foods, HP Hood, and Organic Valley say that the restrictions will unfairly limit flavored milk options for children, while still allowing unhealthy alternatives such as sugary sodas and juices to remain on school menus. They argue that flavored milks provide needed calcium, while schools are already introducing healthy options.

The proposal is now under consideration by the USDA and is expected to be finalized in the coming months. The outcome of the decision is likely to have a major impact on school menus, children’s nutrition, and dairy producers across the nation.