Un-Flavoring School Milk
As the new school year begins, the battle over flavored milk continues. A new study found a drop in school milk consumption when children could not choose flavored milk, which makes up 71% of school milk sales. The study was funded by the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), the dairy industry’s national marketing group, and sponsored by the School Nutrition Foundation.
MilkPEP launched a $1 million initiative last year to promote chocolate milk. The group, in partnership with the School Nutrition Foundation, recently hosted a webinar about their findings and why flavored milk should be kept in schools.
The webinar did not mention that flavored milk contains almost as much sugar as soda, leading to 75 extra calories per serving. These “discretionary” calories are from added sugar and fat, and should be consumed after “essential” calories that provide daily nutrient needs are consumed. A physically active 6-year-old child has 170-195 discretionary calories per day.
“Whether you eat 75 calories worth of chocolate candy with your plain milk, or drink chocolate milk where the candy is already included, it’s still 75 extra calories,” said Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD, Rudd Center Deputy Director. “This represents about 40% of the discretionary calories a child should consume in a day. The MilkPEP’s research only shows that when you are used to chocolate milk, you prefer it to plain milk. These studies do not prove that children wouldn’t drink plain milk if that were the only option available from the beginning. Many children have been given sugar-sweetened beverages from a young age and have come to expect all drinks to be sweet. Water and plain milk should be children’s primary beverages.”
FDA Releases Draft Guidelines on Federal Menu-Labeling Requirements
With the goal of helping Americans make healthier food choices, the federal health care reform legislation requires chain restaurants and vending machines with at least 20 locations nationwide to disclose calorie information to consumers. To help the food industry comply, the FDA recently released a set of guidelines.
The proposed guidelines include:
- Menus must display calorie information in the same size font as the item or price.
- Calorie information must also be displayed in online menus used for take-out.
- Menus must include the statement, “additional information is available upon request,” which includes calories from fat, saturated fat, sodium, sugar, and other nutrients.
- Custom orders and specials appearing on the menu for fewer than 60 days are exempt from calorie disclosure.
- Vending machines must display the information in a "clear and conspicuous" manner.
The FDA is required to issue the regulations by March 2011 but will begin enforcing them after an unannounced time period.
Upcoming Seminar Speakers
September 15, 12:30 pm
September 22, 12:30 pm
September 29, 12:30 pm
October 6, 12:30 pm
Unless otherwise noted, seminars are held at the Rudd Center, located at 309 Edwards Street in New Haven, Connecticut. The seminars are free and open to the public. Seating is limited. The full schedule for our Fall Seminar Series is available online and for download as a PDF document.
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Rudd Center Spotlight: Kevin W. Concannon
Kevin W. Concannon, U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, will present No Nation Healthier than its Children on October 6 during the Rudd Center’s Fall 2010 Seminar Series.
Nominated by President Obama and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Mr. Concannon oversees fifteen nutrition programs, which feed one in four Americans each year. The Food and Nutrition Service programs ensure that children are served well-balanced school meals; new mothers, infants, and small children receive healthy food; and Americans who are unable to afford food are provided with assistance.
Mr. Concannon previously served in many national public service organizations and has received several awards, including the Lifetime Human Services Award from the American Public Human Services Association.
He received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Work degrees from Saint Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia and continued his studies at the University of Southern Maine and the University of Connecticut.
Focus on Childhood Obesity
September is the first annual Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. The Rudd Center encourages parents, teachers, and other caregivers to help improve children's nutrition, physical activity, and body image.
You can :
- Pack healthy school lunches.
- Cook and eat meals together.
- Teach about the difference between a healthy snack and a treat.
- Reduce sedentary time including watching television, surfing the internet, and playing video games.
- Offer water and plain, low-fat milk as primary beverages.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Prime real estate on grocery store shelves apparently isn’t enough for Pop-Tarts, the sugar-laden toaster pastry that’s traditionally been billed as breakfast on-the-go. Hoping to reach millions of eyeballs from around the world, day or night, Kellogg’s recently opened the larger-than-life Pop-Tarts World, a 50-foot storefront and marketing mecca in the heart of New York City’s Time Square. With a café serving items like Pop-Tarts Sushi, and computers that directly access Pop-Tarts Web sites and social media, this unsavory move certainly takes junk food marketing out of the box.
The Latest Rudd Center Podcasts
Jacob Seidell, PhD
Professor of Nutrition and Health, Free University Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Rudd Center’s extensive library of podcasts is available for download on iTunes U, under the Yale University Health & Medicine — Nutrition & Obesity section, or can be subscribed to through an RSS Feed that automatically updates when new content is released. Podcasts can be listened to on a computer or downloaded to a music player.