New York City

Poll: Should NYC schools ban chocolate milk?

Upstate lawmakers and dairy farmers are fighting back.

Chocolate milk.

Chocolate milk. Jessica Bauman/Shutterstock

New York City schools Chancellor Richard Carranza is whipping up a big milk war by proposing a ban flavored milk in schools. The idea is to promote healthier eating among the city’s 1.1 million students by only serving low-fat or fat-free milk, which have significantly less sodium, carbohydrates and calories compared to chocolate milk. School districts in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., have already implemented similar bans.

The proposal faces significant opposition from a bipartisan group of upstate lawmakers and state officials. State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball sent a letter to Carranza objecting to the proposed ban on nutritional grounds. “The benefits of drinking any milk outweigh those of drinking no milk at all,” the commissioners wrote.

Proponents of the ban said the fear that fewer children would drink milk if chocolate milk were no longer available is overstated. There have also been warnings that the loss of millions of dollars in business with New York City schools would endanger the livelihoods of thousands of upstate dairy farmers who are already struggling with low prices and the trade war with China.

Should city schools wean kids off chocolate milk? Or, is this proposal just the latest serving of nanny state politics à la then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s failed Big Gulp ban? Should the city think of upstate dairy farmers … or think of the children?

No final decision has been made by the city on the proposed ban. This week, we’re asking our readers to weigh in by voting in this week’s online poll.