From Denise-Marie Balona, in the Orlando Sentinel:
“The Board of Education has agreed to move forward on a plan to eliminate sugary beverages and make Florida the first state in the nation to ban chocolate milk in public schools.
Board member John Padget, a former schools superintendent from South Florida, has been pressing his colleagues for a year to cut out most beverages besides water, pure juice and white, low-fat milk to help fight childhood obesity.
High schools would be allowed to sell some types of diet sodas and some other low-calorie, low-sugar drinks.
Although board members tabled the issue last spring — most said they preferred to wait to see if the federal government would take the lead on the issue — they decided Tuesday to ask doctors and researchers for their opinions.
Then, they said, they’ll have a more in-depth discussion at their next meeting on Dec. 17.
“When you think about it, we probably have a million overweight or obese children in our schools,” Padget said. “I think the clock is ticking in terms of personal health.”
One reason the board chose to move forward was the realization that the federal government make take years to revamp its rules on what foods should and shouldn’t be allowed to be sold in elementary-, middle- and high schools.
Also, board members learned that the Washington D.C. school district recently announced it is cutting out flavored milk, which tends to be high in sugar.
On Tuesday, an official from the National Association of State Boards of Education urged the Florida Board of Education to make changes now.
“Otherwise your kindergarteners will be in fifth grade before they see any changes,” said Elizabeth Walker, director of the agency’s Center for Safe and Healthy Schools.
Now if I could just remember where that graphic came from… perhaps some reader will have seen it around and could post a link to its source in the comments. Thanks!