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Should Schools Take Milk Off the Menu?

SheSpeaksTeam By SheSpeaksTeam 07.24.12
Should Schools Take Milk Off the Menu?
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We’ve all heard arguments against serving sugary beverages like certain juices and soda to kids. But there’s a new debate heating up over milk consumption and whether or not the white stuff is actually nutritious or just an overhyped health drink.

Time magazine recently reported about a recent petition drawn up by the doctor’s group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) asking the U.S. government to remove milk from the required food group list on the National School Lunch Program. The PCRM argues that since “Milk is high in sugar, high in fat and high in animal protein” any benefits to bone strength are outweighed by the unhealthful content of the beverage.

The PCRM’s stance on milk consumption may be surprising to many who have always lived by the “milk does a body good” motto, but recent research into the real health benefits of this dairy product show that it may not be as healthy as we think.

Studies following both children and postmenopausal women show that whether they drank milk regularly or not both groups had equal chances of suffering fractured bones. President of PCRM, Dr. Neal Barnard explains, “One of the only reasons people talk about dairy, or promote it at all, is because it is going to help build strong bones. Research has now made it abundantly clear that milk doesn’t build strong bone. Whether we are talking about children who are forming bones or older people who are trying to keep their bone integrity, milk doesn’t have a beneficial effect on either one.”

Part of the solution for anti-milk drinkers is for kids to get calcium from other more healthful sources that contain less saturated fats, sugars, and animal protein. But those who argue that milk should stay on the menu at school feel that a lot of kids aren’t getting the nutrients from other foods to begin with and taking away milk would just serve to make matters worse.

What do you think of the current petition to ban milk from school lunches?

Do you feel that milk is an essential part of your family’s diet?

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  • jemappel By jemappel

    I am THRILLED that the research about milk is finally coming to light. This evidence has been around for DECADES but for some reason it has not gotten through in the U.S. In Asia, where they consume almost no dairy, they have hardly any hip fractures among their seniors, even though thta is a common thing here in the States where we consume tons of dairy. Leafy greens are supposed to be a much better source of calcium...our bones absorb that much better than calcium from dairy. Thus, I am indifferent as to whether or not they keep milk on school lunches. I would only be for it if they replace the milk with water. If they replace milk with juice or anything else, i would say 'no.'

  • quteepie By quteepie


  • huberhe2863 By huberhe2863

    No way! Milk has plenty of benefits and is a good option for children to drink. While I realize obesity is a growing problem in the U.S. I think if parents still took time to monitor their children's overall eating habits, consistently push physical activity, etc. then milk would be nothing but purely beneficial and would not be causing any major problems to a child's diet. It's the other things that end up causing our children to be unhealthy or overdoing it with certain types of foods.

  • stefaniek99 By stefaniek99

    The documentary 'Forks Over Knives" does a really nice job of summarizing the research showing the lack of benefit (and actually negative impact) of dairy in our diets. I wouldn't eliminate dairy completely from my diet because it's too delicious, but I don't see a reason why milk should be required in schools.

  • lissakaye54 By lissakaye54

    Yes, cow milk should be gone asap. Instead water or rice milk would be a decent alternative. The problem is that the lunch programs have to have a certain fat content bc of the free and reduced lunch kids.

  • mardel By mardel

    Milk should be available on school lunches but our kids should have the option to have water bottles to drink as well. Not only because not everyone can tolerate diary but during hot summer days the last thing I want to drink is milk.

  • msfriendly By msfriendly

    Milk SHOULD be ONE of the things offered for students. Whatever is offered, it SHOULD NOT have sugar or high fructose corn syrup in it!

  • LMC5209 By LMC5209

    I don't think it should be eliminated from the menu, but there should be other options as well.

  • MissELF By MissELF

    No, it is an important part of anyone's diet and should be kept in school lunch.

  • noelrocs By noelrocs

    I feel that people should spend more time contributing to schools, instead of finding things to take away from them. Its completely senseless that they would feed children "pink slime," but want to remove MILK from the menu... that's so dumb, I don't even want to get started on it. The whole "healthy lunch" movement isn't helping anyone and I feel that it's just a distraction from worse things that are going on--budget cuts, inequality for special needs children/learners, laying off teachers, removing good therapy programs from schools etc. A healthy lunch is a good thing, no doubt, but there are many, many more things that need to be focused on & fixed first. What does milk matter in a place filled with processed foods, vending machines, soda, oh, and drugs... To answer the question: Milk is good. We use milk in our home. We also use a lot of almond milk.

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