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Should Chocolate Milk Be Advertised in Schools? 

I was in an Ottawa public high school this evening and as I walked toward the doors of the gym, I saw a poster hanging on the wall advertising chocolate milk and claiming that it would help you "up your game". It immediately struck me as inappropriate, for several reasons.

Chocolate Milk Isn't a Health Drink

No matter how you cut it, chocolate milk simply isn't a health drink. Sure, it has the same nutritional benefits of regular milk, but it also has a ton of added sugar.

A lot of people claim that they give their child chocolate milk because they won't drink white milk. I hate white milk too and I always have. I like it in my coffee and love a good latte, but you'll never see me sit down and drink a glass of milk. When I was a kid, I had to drink my milk at dinner. At the end of the meal, I would chug it down in one huge gulp and then shove a cookie or brownie into my mouth to mask the taste.

Milk is a convenient source of a lot of nutrients that our bodies need, but it is far from essential. If a child (or adult) doesn't want to drink milk for taste or other reasons (ethical, environmental), forcing them to do so or enticing them to do so by adding a ton of chocolate and sugar, may not be the best route to take. People can drink water to quench their thirst and get their nutritional needs through the food that they eat or even through vitamin supplements if necessary. I don't think that the nutrients in milk, as beneficial as they are, constitute a good reason to consume all the sugar in chocolate milk.

In my opinion, chocolate milk is to milk what McDonald's fries are to potatoes. I don't buy chocolate milk for our house, but our kids are allowed to order it when we go to a restaurant and they get it when we visit Grannie. I don't see that as any different than allowing a child to have pop on rare occasions (as I did when I went to a restaurant or my Grannie's house when I was a kid). A lot of people claim that at least chocolate milk is better than pop, but I'm not so sure. Chocolate milk has the same amount of sugar, a lot more sodium and fat, and 1/3 more calories than a cola drink.

But really, how chocolate milk compares to soda isn't relevant to me. I don't want to know how it compares to other unhealthy options. If people are claiming it is part of a healthy diet, then compare it to some healthy options.

Chocolate Milk Won't Help You "Up Your Game"

The poster on the wall wasn't simply saying that chocolate milk tastes great or that it will help you meet certain daily dietary requirements (along with a good kick of sugar). In this case, it was specifically saying that it will help you "up your game". To be fair, this is a rumour that is being passed around, with articles everywhere talking about how chocolate milk is replacing Gatorade as the "power drink" of choice (never mind the small print about it having 2.5 times as many calories).

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff wrote about the marketing of chocolate milk as a recovery drink on his blog Weighty Matters last week. He wrote:
If I had to venture a guess, I'd bet that over 95% of all so-called recovery drinks were consumed by people who truly don't need them.  I'd also wager that a large percentage of those same folks only decided to exercise in order to lose or maintain weight, in which case that "recovery" drink's more likely to aid in the "recovery" of a few pounds, than of muscle or performance.

But the thing that really gets my knickers in a knot is that they're being aggressively marketed to children, virtually none of who are elite performance athletes, and all of who burn substantially fewer calories than full grown adults.

What will help you "up your game"?

  • Exercising

  • Practicing

  • Getting enough sleep

  • Eating a balanced diet

If you aren't doing those things, then chocolate milk isn't going to "up your game" any more than a pair of Air Jordans or a few morning prayers.

Advertising in Schools Crosses Boundaries

I don't think there should be advertising in schools. Schools are a place that parents should be able to send their children to get an education, not to have biased commercial messages pushed on them. There are already enough challenges keeping the curriculum clear of special interests and biases without the hallways being plastered with posters vying for students attention and pocket money.

I think children should learn about nutrition in school, which may involve a discussion of the nutritional value of milk and even chocolate milk. I also think they should learn about the environmental and ethical issues at play in the dairy industry. But that information should not be furnished by industry sources that stand to gain from it. Or, if it is, it should be presented in a media literacy module where students are encouraged to pick apart the ads in order to understand how and why companies are targeting them.

What do you think? Is chocolate milk a decent nutritional choice or is it on par with junk food? How do you feel about it being marketed in schools?

Image credit: sfllaw on flickr
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Reader Comments (49)

No. The end.

April 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Hearkens back to the blog post I wrote last year, "Should We Allow Market Conversations With Minors?"


April 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Most

I don't think it should be marketed in schools.

I have mixed feelings about whether it should be available in schools or not...perhaps once in a while.

My own kids have never really liked it. As far as a good nutritional choice, it is better than pop, but the added sugar does make it a questionable choice.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFleur

I don't think there should be any advertising in schools. I also think chocolate milk should be a treat. I would prefer to make my own rather than buy pre-made chocolate milk, too...

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMrs Rochester

We have always let our extremely picky daughter drink chocolate milk, with reservation, but glad she was interested in something with fat, protein, and some nutrients. But, we're phasing it out now that her diet is expanded and it's harder and harder to justify. My little one calls plain milk "white chocolate milk" and drinks it happily (older is not convinced). We drink a lot of almond milk, too. Until my oldest got super picky, we hardly ever had milk in the house. (I'm not saying it was the right or best solution to this problem, it was just one of the many things we tried that seemed to consistently work for her, so we stuck to it even though we had reservations.) Our rule starting this summer is that juice/milk are only allowed at meals; otherwise it's water, water, water, water.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

It's a junk food, full stop. We were never fed milk (white or chocolate) as a beverage growing up and I don't intend to feed it as a drink to my potential future offspring.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

I completely agree with you. It's a treat, which my kids occasionally have if we go out to dinner. We do not have it in our home, I would never buy it in the store; just like many of the other sugary drinks, it' unnecessary.

And having advertising for it at school would really tick me off. Definitely on par with junk food IMO.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNico

I think that if I was going to serve chocolate milk regularly because I felt it would help get nutrients into a picky child, I would at least do half and half -- i.e. half chocolate milk and half white milk. Or I would make it myself so that I could control how much sugar was going into it.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Ugh. We do use Ovaltine sometimes, but I HATE chocolate milk. My kindergartner prefers white milk -- only 3 kids in his entire class pick white milk and the rest choose chocolate. Furthermore, I was furious when I found out that some kids were making fun of him for liking white milk.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelli Oliver George

I was a high school athlete and now am a runner and chocolate skim milk is my go-to after work out. If it were an elementary school, perhaps. But learning to make good consumer decisions is something a high school student needs to learn.

I don't understand why milk is even considered part of a healthy diet. I can get tons of calcium from canned salmon, dark greens, nuts and legumes. We were expected to drink milk as children as well, but as soon as I moved out on my own, I never made it a habit. Sure, I enjoy the occasional cocoa, but lately, I have been experimenting with other kinds of "milk" such as almond and coconut, which I actually enjoy much more!

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMisty Pratt

I've seen a commercial advertising the same things basically. Don't think it should be in schools! Why not advertise regular milk?

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCassie

As a system that is educating our youngest members of society, I find it frustrating that nutrition is often a subject that is forgotten or in some cases compromised. This is a perfect example.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJayda

Mmm, I love chocolate milk - it's one of my favorite treats! But personal vices aside, I agree with everything you wrote, especially about no advertising products in schools (I don't think I'd have a problem with advertising services, e.g. summer camps or music lessons, in schools).
In my experience with my close friends who are also parents, feeding kids chocolate milk "to get them to drink their milk" often goes hand in hand with early weaning - I never felt the need to sweeten my toddler's milk because it came straight from the breast and he loved it, but mothers who rushed to wean and then felt that they had to give cow's milk often ended up making it into chocolate milk, and the habit often continued well beyond toddlerhood.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChanna

We don't buy chocolate milk, but we do have chocolate syrup, that way we can control how much chocolate is in there. We used to use it to get my SD to drink milk, but she's now decided she likes white milk and rarely asks for the syrup in it (yay!). We do try and get her to drink at least a glass of milk a day because she is so picky with her food and I worry that she isn't getting everything she needs to grow.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

Oh fine, FINE, you're mostly right. I admit my response was largely a knee-jerk cranky one. I'm still getting a judgy vibe off a lot of people here - people sweeten milk because they wean early (what?), or milk shouldn't even BE part of a healthy diet - don't agree with that. A lot of women end up calcium deficient and milk is an easy way to get calcium (no, I don't have numbers, maybe you can research it and tell me I'm wrong about that tomorrow). My daughter loves white milk, but my son doesn't - my son plays a school team sport at both recesses most days and plays competitive sports every day in the summer - sometimes it IS hard to get enough calories into him.

I don't like ads in schools. I think the container of chocolate milk shown in your picture is too big, and portion control should be part of the conversation. I don't buy chocolate milk for my son, I use chocolate syrup, and not much of it. And I'm still part of "a lot of people" who claim it's better than pop, particularly since low-fat and low-calorie is not my concern when feeding my son at this point in his life. "Part of a healthy diet" doesn't mean it's always the healthiest choice - it means exactly that, PART OF a healthy diet.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterallison


There are a wide variety of opinions and perspectives on milk, all of which are valid. We do give our children milk, but I also respect the opinion of people who feel that feeding cow breast milk to humans isn't appropriate or people who are vegans for ethical, environmental or health reasons.

With regards to weaning, the natural age of weaning in humans (as studied by anthropologists) is between 2.5 years and 7 years. The recommendations of the World Health Organization are that children be breastfed exclusively for 6 months and continue breastfeeding to 2 years and beyond. Certainly mothers have the right to make different decisions, but those decisions could objectively be seen as "early weaning" (not a judgement statement, just a fact). If a mother chooses to wean early, she needs to find other sources of nutrition to replace breastmilk. In babies over 1 year old, that is often cow's milk and if a baby won't drink cow's milk (possibly because it isn't as sweet as human breast milk that they were weaned off of), then sweetening it with chocolate is often seen as a solution.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

No Ovaltine in our house. It is part of the "Nestle Family" of companies.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

A Naturopath would be able to provide a good (evidence-based) argument for why milk doesn't have to be part of a healthy diet (anyone out there?). It's true that women need more calcium, but I don't think getting it from chocolate milk (or many other processed diary products) is the answer

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMisty Pratt

i don't think they should advertise it in schools. But i have no beef with it being available in schools. As long as kids are making otherwise healthy food choices. Like a commenter above, I'm an athlete. Before my 2010 knee surgery, I was running 25 to 30 miles a week and needed not only extra calcium, but nearly 4500 calories a day to maintain my weight. Any less than that, I started to lose weight and muscle mass. Chocolate milk was also my go-to for after a long hard run. Yes, it has a lot of sugar, but it's really HARD to eat 4500 calories in a day. At least it was for me. 18 months post surgery I'm still working at increasing my mileage (about 15 miles per week) but I like my milk.

I have one kid who loves chocolate milk and I do occassionally buy it for her, and one who only wants white. We try to follow the 80-20 rule. As long as 80 percent of what they eat is healthy, I don't worry about the other 20.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKayris

No chocolate milk or sodas in our house.

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertheresa laraway

I do NOT think it should be marketed in schools but I will say it was extremely helpful in marathon training to quickly refill calories, carbs, and sugar after running for hours.

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I am starting towards this rule with my own daughter. She's extremely fussy when it comes to food, and only in the last few weeks has she started drinking chocolate milk at all! So we're going to slowly replace small bits of the chocolate milk with white milk until she's drinking white milk and chocolate milk is just a treat. I can't stress how excited I am that she's drinking milk!! And I'm not a huge fan of it as a "nutritional" drink... but for her, it's one more thing on a very long list of foods she will not eat!!!

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen

I don't think it should be advertised in schools, but I don't have a problem with it being offered at all. While it isn't as healthy as water-what student athletes should be drinking to up their game-it is healthier than 99% of what teenagers actually do drink. Our cross-country team in highschool was considered a little nutty by most of the rest of the school, including other sports teams, because at the urging of our coaches, most of the team gave up drinking soda pop for the 3 months of the year considered cross-country season and the 3 months considered track season. Some of us even gave it up all year-round! Anyway, I think some of us moms interested in healthy eating online are so used to conversations about quinoa & kale & grass-fed beef that we forget how unhealthily the majority of people eat and drink (and let their kids eat and drink). My roommate in college-who was a 3 sport athlete in high school and did one sport in college-used to have Dr. Pepper and Fruit Loops for breakfast every morning, and she's not even close to the only person I know who starts their day with soda (you don't even want to know what I saw people eating on their breaks while I was working in retail management...)! Maybe a little chocolate milk advertising at her school would've done her some good...

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCrunchy Con Mommy

Replace whole milk with lowfat/fat free choco milk and kids get 5,960 fewer calories and 619 fewer grams of fat. Real chocolate adds flavonoids to what Dr Sears calls "one-stop shopping for nutrition." Choco milk has 6g more sugar, or about two teaspoons, hardly a crisis for a kid with an otherwise balanced diet when weighed against the benefits. I'll have a more complete response this weekend @ www.triplethedad.blogspot.com

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertriplethedad

If calories were what ultimately mattered, that might be a good idea. But the low fat experiment has been an abject failure. The USDA recommendations of the late 70s, recommending a low-fat diet and avoidance of dietary cholesterol based on the wholly unsupported Lipid Hypothesis by Ancel Keyes, is most likely to blame for the obesity epidemic that is yet worsening every year.

The reduction of fat and the addition of sugar to foods is NOT the answer!

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Most

Also, the dominance of milk in the chocolate milk equation interferes with the absorption of the flavonoids from chocolate.

The added sugar, meanwhile, has very real effects on the endocrine system, which is outside of the scope of a blog comment, so I will just abbreviate to "sugar addiction". And then you want to take the fat out of the milk as well, so the sugar is digested even more rapidly?

Chocolate milk just doesn't add up to healthy. Maybe when kids get older and work out with heavy weights, it'll make a good post-workout drink. Until then, no.

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Most

You can find research to support most hypotheses regarding diet and nutrition...there's a lot of speculation about what causes obesity, what makes a healthy diet (re: the Paleo craze), etc. People need to do what is right for them. But since this poster was in a high school, I think that high school students are probably capable of making a decision about whether or not to drink milk. And if you don't think your high school student can't make that decision or is unduly influenced by the poster then its probably a larger discussion.

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstephaniemz

There IS a lot of speculation, but the research is pretty consistently clear about the rise of obesity. Chronically elevated levels of insulin allow fat storage. Insulin is produced in response to glucose and also in response to certain amino acids (notably leucine).

Eating 5-6 meals a day and replacing fat in the diet with carbs is a potent recipe for obesity. End of story.

You can eat 3000+ calories of fat in a day, and if you consume zero carbs with it, you will not store fat. This isn't a crazy dietary fat claim, this is just how the endocrine system works. Every human being on the planet works like this.

Paleo, by the way, is a shopping list, not a dietary framework. You can easily gain fat on paleo, if you want. Just eat 5-6 meals a day composed entirely of sweet potatoes, and don't exercise.

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Most

Naomi - agree with many of your dietery points but the sugar in choco milk hardly creates a sugar addiction in an otherwise balanced diet, and "interfering with absorbtion" is not the same as no absorbtion. Meanwhile, as you note calories, protien and fat (all found in good quantities in milk) aren't the boogieman. Yet the main post disparages milk because of its fat. People seem to want to compare choco milk against some mythical perfect food. None exists and any food in exess is bad. Choco milk is a perfectly healthy part of a good diet. The ads are another story, but generally I agree with steph.

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertriplethedad

"“interfering with absorbtion” is not the same as no absorbtion."

Functionally, it is the same. Especially when you're talking about the minuscule amounts of cacao flavonoids that would be in chocolate milk -- particularly any factory-produced chocolate milk.

"People seem to want to compare choco milk against some mythical perfect food. None exists and any food in exess is bad. "

How much is excess?

"Choco milk is a perfectly healthy part of a good diet."

What is "a good diet"?

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Most

everything in moderation. I'd rather see chocolate milk in the vending machine than chips, cup cakes, and soda.

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDenise Schwarzkopf

Naomi - protien & fat centric diet with limited sugars, complex carbs over simple ones.

Excess varies. Excess candy or Mcdonalds comes well before excess bananas or broccoli

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertriplethedad

Oh, I wasn't questioning that some people would consider anything before two or three years 'early weaning' - I was questioning the equating of so-called 'early' weaning with putting chocolate syrup in milk, which another commenter offered anecdotally, and which frankly smacks to me of a certain AP superiority, i.e. people who don't breastfeed their children as long as I think they should are also too willing to feed their kids sugar. I also respect the opinion of people who don't want to drink milk - the commenter said she 'didn't understand why milk is considered part of a healthy diet', and I stated why I felt it was, in my family's case. You asked on Twitter the other day what things people liked seeing from you and what made them want to unfollow. I have been trying really hard to stay with this blog and keep an open mind because I want to be open to other viewpoints, and I agree with a lot of what you believe; what puts me off is never a single issue, but rather a tone that I sometimes get (and I admit that it's not necessarily all on this side) of humourless self-satisfaction, and unfortunately I find it here quite often, in the comments if not in the posts themselves. I understand that you and your readers care deeply about doing what's best for your children and the world, and maybe working every day on these issues makes it hard not to produce that tone. But at this point in my life I'm just too tired to feel like I have to keep defending decisions that I don't really feel need any defense, even just in my head while I'm reading. Therefore I am wishing you all the best and bidding you a civil good-bye.

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterallison

While I am an avid milk drinker, factory chocolate milk is definitely not something that should be advertised in schools (schools should not be a marketing dumping ground). If I want to drink a hot cocoa, I add milk powder, cocao powder, and a teaspoon of sugar in a large mug of hot water. At least this way I know what I'm consuming!

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterUrsula Ciller

I think chocolate milk is sort of in a gray area between healthy food and junk food, because it does contain nutrients along with the sugar and (has this even been mentioned yet?) artificial colorings and preservatives that are added to most pre-mixed chocolate milks. Other flavored milks (my son's school offers strawberry and banana EVERY DAY, to his horror and mine) are worse because they don't offer the health benefits of chocolate--minimal though those may be in the amount of real chocolate in a typical chocolate milk.

It should be an occasional treat. If schools offer it at all, it should be only on Fridays or something.

I agree that schools should not post ads for foods that are at all nutritionally questionable, particularly not ads like this one suggesting that the sweetened version is better than the plain one! But I recall my elementary school cafeteria being decorated with posters touting fish, crunchy fruits and vegetables ("Good for your gums! Exercise your jaws!"), nuts, etc. There was one about potatoes urging, "Eat the skin--it's good for you!" (We were served baked potatoes about once a month, and prior to the appearance of that poster most kids tossed the skin. Sadly, during the Reagan administration our baked potato entree changed from being stuffed with broccoli and grated real cheese, to being doused in canned nacho cheez.) I think advertisements for genuinely healthy ingredient foods, even if funded by the Almond Association or CarrotCorp, should be allowed.

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter'Becca

'Becca - as I said in my blog post in response to PhD, the problem is identifying "genuinely healthy." Many, many foods go from being favored to being demonized and back again (eggs) not to mention wrongly touted as heroes (like the government's "Eat Carbs Not Fat" campaign which largely led us to obesity). Then consider that many vegans/vegetarians will tell you that most animal proteins aren't good for you.

We are here discussing the "problems" with milk/chocolate milk (high calories, too much fat, sugar, egad!). Meanwhile, you mention almonds, which are also high in both calories and fat. I'm not saying almonds aren't healthy, I believe they are, but taken in isolation - like this discussion does with milk - a case can be made against almonds as well.

Some comments have made note that choco milk is just sugared up to make it sweet like breast milk. I couldn't find any resources on the amount of sugars in breast milk, but how exactly do you think breast milk gets sweet? Why is sugar in breast milk OK, but sugar in choco milk somehow horrible (assuming they are the same sugars, etc.)

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTriplethedad

The idea of defining any particular food as "healthy" versus "unhealthy" is about as helpful as trying to define the platonic ideal of "good".

Almonds aren't "healthy" or "unhealthy", nor is chocolate milk. Chocolate milk is a perfectly good post-resistance-training beverage for intermediate weight lifters. Sugar and its accompanying insulin spike drives glucose into the muscles to be used for growth. OUTSIDE of the context of workout recovery, you have problems: inflammation, fat storage, and sugar addiction (again, a shorthand for a complex hormonal situation).

Almonds are "better" than chocolate milk in that they are much more highly satiating, containing fat and protein and very few carbohydrates. They're "less healthy" than chocolate milk when it comes to refilling glycogen stores or providing essential fatty acids for brain health.

Your insistence on bringing the conversation back to calories and your implicit demonization of fat ("Meanwhile, you mention almonds, which are also high in both calories and fat... a case can be made against almonds as well") demonstrates that you just do not understand the contexts in which foods can be declared "healthy" or not.

Not that I can blame you. You're a product of the USDA policy recommendations and of the media's sad, audience-pandering portrayal of nutrition science (which itself often leaves much to be desired) as much as anyone else.

"Some comments have made note that choco milk is just sugared up to make it sweet like breast milk."

Breast milk is nowhere near as sugary as chocolate milk, and contains lactulose and glucose, not fructose (as in chocolate milk). These comments are made in ignorance.

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Most

Naomi, I think I missed it. What's your expertise in this area?

My job requires me to have an in-depth understanding of the hormonal component of diet and exercise, because my company produces diet plans that help powerlifters and other strength athletes lose fat to make their target weight class without losing muscle.

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Most

Gotcha. I work for a research university and was discussing this post with some nutritional science folks. I still don't think having chocolate milk is really that big of an issue or problem. I get why people don't want children bombarded with advertisements. But again, we're talking about high school students.

I think it is the misleading element of the ad that bothers me the most in this context. If it was "chocolate milk -- it tastes good" or "chocolate milk - get your daily calcium requirement" or "chocolate milk - a great recovery drink for elite athletes", I might be okay with it (not thrilled, but not writing a blog post to complain either). My issue is it being positioned, for normal students who may be doing two practices and one game per week, as something that will "up your game".

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I've stated my thoughts on diet above and at my site and it mostly jibes with your own, actually. I was an early adopter of the protein/fat good/sugar bad idea and haveoften complained of the sad USDA standards. I think sugar is a/the problem, but I'm not sure in this one case it horrible - again, assuming an otherwise healthy diet.

My comments regarding almonds was merely to show that any food in isolation can be deconstructed.

The author made the point on calories by comparing choco milk dispargingly to sports drinks. If she is going to us calories, its only fair turnaround

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertriplethedad

I very much agree that it is the advertising that is the problem, not the food itself.

What we see in my business is that there are non-athletic people who will spend money on products that promise (implicitly, not explicitly) to give them the feeling of being an elite athlete, which means consuming things meant for elite athletes. It's called "aspirational buying".

Kids are definitely "aspirational" buyers. I still remember begging my mom for Air Jordans (sneakers) I didn't need in any way, shape, or form, just because of their image and association with a popular basketball player. Ads capitalize on superstition: by owning the same things and doing the same things as someone who is seen as successful, the ingrained belief is that you will be successful (or seen as, which is often good enough) too.

So even the kids who aren't doing any athletics to speak of will, by association as presented by this ad campaign, get the associative ego boost from having consumed chocolate milk as some kind of athletically associated product.

And all that is to say nothing of the people (kids and adults) who progressively rationalize their intake of performance foods in totally silly ways. "Oh, I raked the leaves, I should get a post-workout shake." Not so much. :)

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Most

In my perfect world, they wouldn't advertise it, but high schoolers who wanted it would drink chocolate milk every day. Because they'd be working out 1.5-3.5 hours/day, like I did. And the public-health implications of getting all females to do load bearing exercise and getting enough calcium in adolescence would be HUGE for osteoporosis in another 60 years.

I'm pretty convinced chocolate milk is better than Gatorade for exercise recovery, based on the studies done.
I suppose if you are already in the parenting category where your kids will NEVER drink soda, or lemonade, or sweetened tea or juice, or sports drinks, THEN maybe it makes a lot of sense to worry about chocolate milk- but really, it'd be easier (and better for your kid) to set up your lifestyle to accommodate the 'high' level of exercise.

As a parent, I think of most juice as worse than chocolate milk. Mostly because it's easy to get real fruit into my kid (with the vitamin C and the fiber!), but it's harder to get fish or kale or other good non-dairy sources of calcium. So the chocolate milk does a better job filling a nutritional niche. Though I do minimize the premade stuff, and don't add all that very much syrup when I make it for him. If you wanted to argue the stuff they serve in schools is just too sweet, or it should be broma process cocoa instead of dutch, or some specific issue with making it healthier, I could certainly get behind that. But overall, I like chocolate milk.

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbecca

I don't know about high school sports in Canada but where I live, it's a LOT more than a couple practices a week and one game. As a HS basketball player, I had 2 to 3 hours of practice on non-game days and 2-3 games per week.

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKayris

We had a short duration of adding chocolate syrup to milk that my mother had started on a visit when we moved. I had been watching a talk/news show and it discussed how caffeine stays in your system for 24 hours and chocolate contains caffeine. We immediately lost the bottle of syrup, which was more inline with our parenting choices, and something amazing happened. Immediately and I stress immediately we found the kids slept better through the night.
I have picky eaters which is a topic all on its own best understood by those who have experienced it, but a great read is Child of mine: feeding with love and good sense by noted nutritionist Ellyn Satter. (I have a child who only in her early years did she even hit the 5 % on the growth chart, and found her own line much lower where Pediasure was a staple).

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter@heathertwins

How disappointing! I like Ovaltine. I haven't had it in years but didn't realize it's Nestle.

May 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLyndsay

According to wikipedia, it's not owned by Nestle everywhere. "Ovaltine, a registered trademark of Associated British Foods, is made by Wander AG, a subsidiary of Twinings which acquired the brand from Novartis in 2003, except in the United States, where Nestlé acquired the rights separately from Novartis later on."

May 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLyndsay

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