Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Chocolate Milk War

By Bella Mya Paradise, Connecticut, USA

 

Which do you think should have less sugar: soda or milk? It is true that most plain milk has no added sugar, but flavored milk can have up to 20% more sugar than soda. Furthermore, chocolate milk is unhealthy and should be banned from schools. There are many reasons, and I will explain five of them in this essay. The reasons are unhealthiness, sugar spikes, how it changes your flavor palette, how it rots your teeth, and finally, all of the diseases it contributes to.

My first reason that chocolate milk should be banned from schools is that it is extremely unhealthy. Did you know that drinking chocolate milk for a week is the equivalent of drinking one hundred eighty cans of soda?! Chef Ann Cooper refers to it as “soda in drag”. When kids drink flavored milk every day, they get over two gallons more sugar per year. Also, it has lots of high-fructose corn syrup, which is NOT the same thing as sugar. But sugar isn’t the only problem, calories also play a big role in the chocolate milk war. Drinking chocolate milk at lunch and breakfast gives you up to 128 extra calories a day! Most girls ages 9-18 are supposed to only have 65 extra calories. Who cares that it tastes good! Do we really want to be putting that junk into our bodies?

My second reason that chocolate milk should be banned from schools is sugar spikes. Would you give a kindergartener a big glass of Coca-Cola and then ask them to sit still for three hours? Better yet, would they do it? Probably not. But as it turns out, offering them the 60 grams of sugar and the extra calories in chocolate milk a day is about equivalent to that. “Flavored milk is not the nutritional equivalent of unflavored milk. It is significantly higher in calories, sugar and sodium, and usually contains artificial colors and flavors.” Says Marlene Schwartz, PhD.

My third reason that chocolate milk should be banned from schools is that drinking sugary drinks 1 or more times a day shapes your flavor palette so that foods and drinks with less sugar don’t appeal to you. Did you know that just one carton already exceeds the recommended daily sugar limit? It’s like you are training your taste buds to only like sugary things. In a way, you are getting addicted to the sugar. This is why kids won’t drink plain milk! Kids not drinking unflavored milk is one of the biggest arguments on the “for chocolate milk side”, but even that still comes back to why it should be banned! If you don’t believe me, try it! Which would you rather eat: a Snickers bar, or a cup of raw spinach? Now you see what I mean.

My fourth reason that chocolate milk should be banned from schools is that it is bad for your teeth. Be honest, not everyone brushes their teeth every morning and night. In fact, only 30% of the nation takes perfect care of their teeth. When you drink chocolate milk and then forget (or “forget”) to brush, the sugar lingers on your teeth and causes cavities and tooth decay. Which is more important: drinking chocolate milk or avoiding the dentist?!?

My fifth and final reason that chocolate milk should be banned from schools is the diseases it contributes to. Did you know that drinking chocolate milk for a month will cost you 3 pounds? And that’s just fat free milk! Over 6 million people in the world are obese (20% of population). And the numbers are only rising. Even worse, 300,000 of them die every year! Also, excessive sugar, sodium, and calories (as in chocolate milk) are shown to cause diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, heart failure, osteoporosis, and even some cancers. And chocolate milk is just adding to the problem! Kids eat enough sugar as it is and they don’t need it served to them in schools. It’s time to get rid of this liquid candy that has masqueraded as “flavored milk.”

To conclude, if you enjoy getting fat, bouncing off the walls, not liking foods you used to like, trips to the dentists, getting diseases, and having an early death, then be my guest. Drink all the flavored milk you want! But if you’d like to live a long happy life, then you’ll agree with me that chocolate milk should be banned from schools because it is acutely unhealthy, causes sugar spikes, changes your flavor palette, rots your teeth, and contributes to many diseases.

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