The creators of the “Got Milk?” campaign have launched the “Raise your hand for chocolate milk” campaign. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services believes that while it would be preferable to have children drinking milk without the added calories, it gives this new campaign its blessing.
“The chocolate has its naysayers – there’s more sugar and more calories in it,” said Denny Spurling, Bureau Chief of the State Health Department’s Bureau of Health Promotion. “The opposing side from that says, yeah, but there’s some kids that don’t like milk, they probably won’t drink milk unless you have it chocolate.”
Spurling and other state health officials say it is important for children to drink milk, and the nutrients in the milk – especially skim and low fat milk – more than make up for the added calories.
“We want to see kids drink the milk and the low fat and skim milk is probably, we feel, more important than the added sugar,” said Spurling.
Spurling makes it clear the ideal situation would be for young people to drink low fat or skim white milk, but there is a benefit to chocolate milk.
“The extra sugar in the milk, if it keeps a kid drinking the milk, (it) is the way we try to balance it out,” said Spurling.
The State Health Department tries to follow the Eat Smart guidelines, with the recommendation for low fat or skim milk, flavored or unflavored.