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Banning chocolate milk in schools lowers milk consumption

A recent study from Cornell University Food and

A recent study from Cornell University Food and Brand Lab found banning chocolate milk in schools may impact overall milk consumption. Credit: iStock

Banning chocolate milk in school cafeterias may have negative consequences on kids' overall milk consumption, according to a new study.

Researchers from Cornell University Food and Brand Lab found that when flavored milk was removed in 11 Oregon elementary schools, students took 10 percent less milk and wasted 29 percent more milk.

What's more, there was a 7 percent decrease in District's Lunch Program participation, which researchers believe may have been from the chocolate milk ban.

"Given that the role of the federal school meal program is to provide nutritious meals to students who may otherwise have no access to healthy foods -- I wouldn't recommend banning flavored milk unless you have a comprehensive plan in place to compensate for the lost nutrients when kids stop drinking milk altogether," Nicole Zammit, former assistant director of nutrition services at Eugene School District, said in a news release.

Brian Wansink, co-author of the study and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab recommends other ways to encourage kids to select white milk without banning the sugar. "Make white milk appear more convenient and more normal to select," he said. "Two quick and easy solutions would be to put the white milk in the front of the cooler and make sure that at least one-third to one-half of all the milk is white."

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