Nutrition Policy Institute submits comments to USDA in opposition of returning flavored milks to school meal program

Dec 28, 2020

The UC Nutrition Policy Institute submitted comments to the USDA on December 27, 2020 in opposition of a proposed rule to return flavored milk to school cafeterias. In their comment, NPI argues that reintroduction of chocolate milk into the USDA school breakfast and school lunch programs is "contrary to science" and would negate efforts to lower consumption of added sugars. The comment highlights a recent study by NPI in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, on the impact of removing chocolate milk from the school lunch program. The study examined the effects of removing chocolate milk as part of efforts to reduce added sugar from the lunch program at middle and high schools in the San Francisco Unified School District during the 2017-18 school year. The study assessed the effect of chocolate milk removal policy on student milk selection, waste, and overall consumption and to estimate changes in calcium, protein, vitamin D, and added sugar intake among racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse secondary school students. The study found that, despite a slight decrease in student milk consumption after the policy was passed, student intake of milk's key nutrients -- calcium, protein, and vitamin D -- were not reduced, nor was there any increase in milk waste. Furthermore, students' consumption of added sugar from milk declined significantly, thus achieving the district's purpose in removing chocolate milk. The comment was developed in collaboration with the Center for Science in the Public Interest.


By Danielle L. Lee
Author - Director of Communications & Research Engagement