Chocolate milk could soon be banned in New York City public schools due to health concerns.
The city’s Department of Education (DOE) is considering the ban on chocolate-flavored milk due to its high sugar content. NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza is driving the initiative. Carranza successfully campaigned for a similar ban in the San Francisco Unified School District.
The chocolate milk consumed by children at NYC schools contains 20 grams of sugar, according to the NYC Department of Health.
The DOE said in a statement, “Our priority is the health and well-being of our students, and every day, we offer a variety of healthy, delicious, and free meal options that exceed USDA standards.”
“We look forward to discussing our menu with these members of Congress,” it added.
Healthy Eating at NYC Schools
Carranza said to ABC7 that the DOE is asking nutrition experts about the risks of chocolate milk. This move is part of wider efforts to make students’ diets healthier.
“We are really proud of the fact in NYC that we have Meatless Mondays. We have NY Thursdays. We’ve removed processed meats from our menus,” he said. “We have students that are on our advisory council giving us feedback on the menus. This is just one more of those things that we are looking at.”
The New York City Council just passed Resolution 238, which banned processed meat like baloney, hot dogs, and pepperoni from public schools. Council Member Fernando Cabrera introduced the resolution in 2017, citing processed meat’s link to illnesses like cancer and diabetes as the reason for the ban.
Brooklyn Borough President and vegan Eric Adams urged for the resolution to be introduced. “We cannot continue feeding our children substances that are scientifically proven to increase their chances of cancer later in life,” Adams said to the New York Post last year. “Chicken nuggets and sloppy joes are in the same class of substances as cigarettes. We know that we would never give our children cigarettes to smoke, so there’s absolutely no reason why we should continue poisoning our children’s health with processed foods.”
Adams, who is running for mayor in 2021, also supports the ban on chocolate milk. “We should be encouraging them to drink more water,” he said.