Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at the Yale University School of Medicine, disagreed. He applauded the school's step in the right direction, while noting that schools still have a long way to go.
About one in three American children are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since 1980, obesity prevalence in people ages 2 to 19 has nearly tripled.
While some defenders of chocolate milk have argued that sugary milk is better than no milk at all, experts said the sugary versions shouldn't be an option.
"The more sugar we consume, the more we tend to want," said Katz. "If even milk has added sugar, what doesn't? Part of getting everyone to better eating is getting everyone familiar with more wholesome, less-processed foods. Milk closer to nature is a better choice than milk with added sugar and colorings and flavorings."
Dr. Jana Klauer, a nutrition and metabolism expert in New York, agreed, adding that flavored milks not only increase calories, but also expectations.
"Adding flavorings and sugar to milk offers no nutritional benefit," said Klauer. "The harm of the sweetened dairy products, besides the added calories, is that the palate changes so that the drive for sweetness increases."
Because children spend so much time in school, experts agreed that promoting healthy eating habits in school could easily spread to other aspects of a child's life.
"Every eating occasion is an opportunity to promote health or oppose it," said Katz. "If schools take a lead role in promoting health, there will still be much work to do outside of schools, but school then become an important part of the solution, rather than contributing to the problem. "