Posting in Education
Even the study authors admitted the school beverage glass is half-full, which critics may choose to call half-empty.
The study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine by education reform advocates Bridging the Gap, talks about the wide availability of high calorie beverages, which headline writers automatically took to mean "sugary drinks."
But the data is clear. Only 14% of kids still have access to sweetened sodas like Coca-Cola at school. About 35% have access to what the group calls "high fat" milk, i.e. regular milk with 4% milk fat. Some of it with chocolate.
(The modern image of Santa Claus was introduced in Coca-Cola advertising by artist Haddon Sundblom, starting in 1931.)
The total result, the advocates say, is 45% of kids are seeing "bad" drinks at school, "up" from 39% a year earlier. Regular milk is now seen to be just as bad as Coca-Cola?
Speaking of which, did you know The Coca-Cola Co. is a sponsor of the pediatrician site Familydoctor.org? It's true. Want to know some of the horrible stuff they push there? Odwalla juice, VitaminWater, aseptically-packed milk-and-fruit drinks, and Minute Maid orange juice.
A corporation's brand name does not define its entire product line. Here is the landing page for the company's ad on the FamilyDoctor site. It does not just push empty calories, as critics seem to believe. Sponsors don't usually defy the people they are trying to sell to.
One of the co-authors of the Bridging the Gap study admitted that the study does not paint a bleak picture, it paints a mixed picture. The percentage of kids seeing only healthy choices is up to 16% from 10% a year ago. Good news, a 60% gain, unless you're not happy until 100% are seeing only the choices you want them to see.
A statement from the American Beverage Association notes there has been an 88% reduction in calories shipped to schools since 2004, and this is not inconsistent with what the Bridging the Gap research finds. The ABA simply uses a different baseline (six years instead of one) and spins the data their way.
The glass, in other words, is half-full, although you can also see that as half-empty if you insist on being that way.
Nov 1, 2010
I said many kids with ADD saw a reduction in symptoms. I never said it was a cure. I also said nothing about adults with ADD. And the study in question is science performed by real doctors on real ADD patients. If you must have more details, they did say a percentage of ADD cases are genetic and ADD symptoms were not helped by the diet change. This is likely the case in your family. They did not say in the report on the study, and neither did I, that switching from low fat milk to whole milk was a cure for 100% of ADD sufferers. It simply reduced symptoms in many kids.
We've always been big milk drinkers in my house, but both I and my kids have ADD. Doesn't prove anything. Anecdotes aren't science.
After the recent work showing the decrease of milk fat in childrens diet mirrors the skyrocketing diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder among american kids. And subsequent testing that showed a reduction in ADD symptoms in many children when whole milk was added to their daily diet, I am surprised that this group still considers whole milk, even in moderation, to be bad. They are a bit behind the science on that one.
Regular milk is not only good for kids, it is an absolute necessity. Growing children need that fat for healthy brain development. Yes, I understand that there is an all too high percentage of overweight children. But there is an even higher percentage of kids who only really get milk at school. I agree that school is no place for soda, but whole milk should be in every school.
Where you stand depends on where you sit, and only by looking at what they're saying from the outside can you ever hope to understand much of it. Failures of mine on this blog have taught me that lesson. Which is a good lesson to learn.
Thank you Dana. I appreciate your commentary and bringing to light the facts which these groups attempt to obfuscate.