Got Chocolate Milk? Health Benefits Debated

Do the nutrients children get outweigh the sugar? Some say no.

ByDavid Muir, andrew Miller And Gitika Ahuja via via logo
November 15, 2009, 5:19 PM

Nov. 16, 2009— -- Chocolate milk has been a staple in school cafeterias for decades. But as schools nationwide look to make their menus healthier, a debate has emerged over whether the sweet drink should still be served in the cafeteria.

Today the dairy industry is launching an ad campaign to make its case for chocolate milk, arguing that the nutrients children get from it outweigh any additional sugar they consume when drinking it.

Regular low fat milk has 12 grams of sugar per half pint compared to 24 or 30 grams of sugar in chocolate milk.

"I like chocolate milk and I know my girls will too because it's a great way for them to get all the nutrients that go with it," actress Rebecca Romijn says in one commercial.

The campaign, called "Raise Your Hand for Chocolate Milk," is costing the dairy industry nearly a million dollars, according to Vivien Godfrey, CEO of industry marketing group the Milk Processor Education Program.

Although that may sound like a steep price tag, there is a lot of money at stake for the dairy industry. Schools account for 54 percent of all flavored milk sold, according to the National Dairy Council.

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