Darn that pesky Jamie Oliver for pointing out to our country how much sugar is in the flavored milk we’re pumping our kids full of. Really, did he think we’d do something reasonable like move our kids to unflavored milk or spread the word that milk isn’t actually necessary for kids to be healthy?
Perhaps maybe we did. Milk consumption is down. It may be because people realize that all the sugar in flavored milk is a problem, that water is healthier, or that they’re just drinking other sugary beverages. To combat the decrease in milk consumption, the dairy industry is trying to create what in essence would be diet flavored milk.
According to Rodale, artificially flavored milk is already legal, it just can’t be referred to as milk. The dairy industry, however, wants to change that and allow sweetened milk such as chocolate or strawberry to be sweetened with artificial sweeteners and still be called milk on the front of the package. The back of the package would indicate the artificial sweetener in the ingredients list. The Food and Drug Administration is considering the request.
Adding artificial sweeteners instead of sugar or high fructose corn syrup to flavored milk would certainly solve the problem of the added calories from sugar, but what about the problems that artificial sweeteners may cause?
- Artificial sweeteners don’t always equate to weight loss. People tend to eat more when they drink low-calorie beverages because they think they can. Kids, who the artificially sweetened milk would attract most, might eat more snacks if they think their milk is “diet.”
- Artificial sweeteners, also known as non-nutritive sweeteners, has been linked in several studies to cancer. Do we really want our kids to be served up artificially sweetened milk daily at school?
- Artificial sweeteners can contain allergens, and if not properly labeled, those with allergies could consume milk containing them without knowing it.
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