Thanks to our First Lady the ongoing problem of childhood obesity is a well known fact. Recenly, the culprit has been identified as chocolate milk. This sinfully sweet drink, a favorite in school lunches, has been deemed a major player in the issue of children and their weight. The Washington Post reported on the drinks past disapperaing from school cafeterias, and its recent return, presenting both sides of the controversy.
According to the article last year districts in Fairfax Co. and D.C. completely banned the chocolate drink from the lunch menu. As letters and complaints poured in from both sides of the arguement, schools decided to tweak the drink and reintroduce it with less sugar and fat.
"The stakes are high because more than 70 percent of the milk distributed in school cafeterias is flavored, according to the Milk Processor Education Program, an industry group. Fairfax alone serves 62,000 gallons of chocolate milk a year. And the formulations used in many cafeterias across the country have more calories, ounce for ounce, than Coke."
The writer clearly did his homework. The article flowed nicely, and had a lot of statisics.
This alarming statistic made me think that the article was going to be biased in keeping the chocolate milk out of cafeterias. But the other side, ironically was presented by the Nutritionists was quickly covered.
According to the article, the National Dairy Council has launched its Raise Your Hand for Chocolate Milk campaign. “Chocolate milk is the most popular milk choice in schools,” according to the campaign’s pitch, “and kids will drink less milk and get fewer nutrients if it’s taken away.”
Parents, nutritionists against the drink, and Dean Foods, a a supplier of the milk were all quoted, rounding out the article well.
I found the article after searching around Washingtonian Magazine and reading the article Should Happy Meal Toys Be Banned? The article was a blog post that mainly argued "parents ought to be solely responsible for preventing their kids from eating too many Happy Meals, toy or no toy." The post linked to the Washington Post article, and a study revealing that one out of every three kids today are considered overweight or obease.
Clearly the topic is a hot issue right now, finding its way in a number of media outlets. The issue will continue to be covered so until corrected. I found most of the coverage on the topic, specifically the Post's article was fair and thorough in its reporting. With the importance of children's health, I hope the media continues to inform the public, but most importantly, parents.