The Sunshine State may become the first state in the nation to ban chocolate milk in public schools. Florida Board of Education members discussed the issue Tuesday and John Padget, a former school superintendent from South Florida, suggested eliminating all beverages except for water, pure juice and white, low-fat milk in an effort to combat childhood obesity. In addition, only high school students would have the privilege of purchasing diet soda and other low-calorie, low-sugar drinks, which would also be banned from elementary and junior high schools.
“What kind of nonsense is this?” exclaims ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross. “Under what scientific theory would banning diet soda while allowing pure fruit juice be part of the battle against obesity? Fruit juice has minimal nutritional content and is jam-packed with 120-180 calories per serving.”
ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan agrees: “Their whole agenda is very blurred — what exactly are they trying to do? This reminds me of the warnings against sugared soda that the New York Health Department has promulgated, yet they never mention diet soda as a viable alternative.”
“This sounds like a twisted conglomeration of positions from the anti-sugar, anti-artificial sweetener, and anti-soda camps,” observes ACSH's Dr. Josh Bloom.
Regardless of what their strategy is, Dr. Ross has a suggestion for the members of the next school board meeting: “Do a little thinking and use science and common sense in your decisions, otherwise, you will have no impact on obesity.”