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Proposal would ban chocolate milk in New York City schools

{ }(AP file photo)
(AP file photo)
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NEW YORK – (WCBS) - "Children need milk in their system, they're not going to be full. What are they going to give them? Juice? Water?" said mother Crystal Rodriguez Pritchett.

Many parents were unhappy to hear that the Department of Education reportedly wants to ban chocolate milk from schools. Why? Because of how much sugar it contains.

"Chocolate milk has about ten grams more sugar than regular milk and children should limit their sugar in-take to about 25 grams,” said nutritionist Reyna Franco.

The city's Department of Health says 40 percent of New York City elementary school students are overweight or obese.

It has been in favor of the ban for a while now, saying children who drink chocolate milk twice a day consume about 80 grams of sugar each week. That adds up to six pounds of sugar a year.

"Now if you look at the big picture at how much your child is eating, in terms of sugar, if they don't eat too much cakes and cookies and foods with added sugar, then chocolate milk may be a good way to get some calcium, vitamin D and protein into their day,” Franco said.

Parents agree, telling us that's often their child's only form of calcium. And without chocolate milk as a lunchtime option, their child would go for other sugary, high-calorie drinks over plain milk.

"They prefer the chocolate milk obviously, so if that's the way you're going to get the calcium into the kids, I say go for it,” said mother Lori Horsely.

In 2006, New York City schools did away with whole milk and considered banning flavored milk as well. This isn't the first time the idea has come up and some schools have put bans in place on their own.

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The Department of Education says its priority is the health and well-being of all children and no decision has been made just yet.

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