Filed Under: Big Fat Lies Food Police

Anti-Sugar Zealotry Could Cost Kids

We’ve always suspected that uncompromising anti-food groups like the Center for Science in the “Public Interest” really only have one set of interests in mind: their own. Routinely rushing to demonize another food or ingredient, they’ve long used things like salt and sugar as convenient punching bags without much consideration for the long-term fallout. Today The New York Times reports that the Law of Unintended Consequences may soon be rearing its head in some schools. Politicians have decided to take kid-favorite flavored milks off the menu because of the public health movement’s sugar haranguing (emphasis added):

When students went back to school Monday in the District of Columbia, they were served only low-fat white milk. Berkeley, Calif., schools banned chocolate milk, and Florida school officials are considering it. …

Flavoring milk, some school officials and milk processors say, is the only way to get students to drink it. Milk provides a host of nutrients, including calcium, protein and vitamin D, which recent studies show is deficient in about three-quarters of teenagers and adults.

“It’s better for them to have some milk with some flavoring and a little added sugar than to go without milk,” said [the School Nutrition Association’s Diane] Pratt-Heavner, whose organization last month helped release a study that showed that elementary school children drank 35 percent less milk at school on average when flavored milk was removed.

Too much sugar can be unhealthy, and it can cause kids to gain weight, just as too much of any food can. But there’s nothing wrong with some sugar, unless your health compass only recognizes absolutes.

Anti-sugar demagogues aren’t doing much good here, except for furthering their own agenda and influence. And despite the popular idea that banning some beverages is only done “for the children,” it appears that the kids won’t be any healthier when the dust settles.

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