243568 Milk consumption in schools offering plain milk only versus schools offering plain and flavored milk

Monday, October 31, 2011: 9:42 AM

Margaret Read, MA , Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Kathryn E. Henderson, PhD , Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD , Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Introduction: Policies to remove flavored milk from school lunches have engendered controversy. Supporters cite the importance of decreasing added sugars, while others believe this policy will compromise nutrition. Method: We compared milk consumption by grade and gender in two inner-city school districts in the northeastern United States. Both serve primarily low-income Hispanic and African-American students. The Experimental district (enrolment in two study elementary schools = 1051) removed flavored milk for the 2010-2011 school year, offering only plain 1% milk, while the Control district (enrolment = 1582) offered both plain 1% and flavored % milk. Data were collected twice monthly (capturing days on which fruit and juice were offered) throughout the year. Post-meal milk and juice containers were weighed. Meal component choices were documented for all lunches. Results: More milk was consumed when juice was not offered (p < .01). During the first study month, plain milk was taken with 55% of meals in the Experimental district; 14% of these cartons remained unopened. In the Control district, plain milk was taken with 14% of meals (19% unopened), and flavored milk with 69% (16% unopened). When milk was taken, 52% of the carton was consumed in the Experimental district, while 43% and 54% of plain and flavored milk, respectively, was consumed in the Control district. Year-long consumption trends by grade and gender will be presented, and nutritional analysis of meal components discussed. Discussion: Data will inform the current debate on the nutritional impact of removing flavored milk from the lunch room.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1)Examine the effect on milk consumption of the removal of flavored milk from a school lunch program. 2)Describe the current controversy over flavored milk in school lunch programs.

Keywords: School Health, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have six years of experience studying and working in obesity prevention. I am also the project manager of this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.