No chocolate milk? Ill. pushes new daycare regulations

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More than 15 percent of toddlers between the ages of two and five are considered overweight, and Illinois officials are taking steps to combat this obesity threat with new daycare regulations.

According to the Rockford Register Star, officials with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services have proposed removing chocolate milk, juice and other fatty, sugary snacks from the state’s daycare centers. It also forbids centers from rewarding children with food and letting the youngest children watch television.

The proposed changes were recommended by the Illinois Early Learning Council and are now being reviewed by a legislative panel. The changes are just the latest passed in recent years. Daycare centers are already required to feed children ages two and older milk that is either skim or 1 percent. Read more here.

“Early childhood obesity has been an organizational priority for us,” Kate Ritter, senior policy associate with Illinois Action for Children, told The State Journal-Register. “We realized the need for this based on the statistics of the number of children in Illinois under the age of five who were already obese before they enter school. We knew this was a good time to get this put into policy.”

See, “No chocolate milk? New Illinois day-care regulations proposed.”

“Research shows that children who drink flavored milk also drink more milk overall, have better quality diets, do not have higher intakes of added sugar or fat, and are just as likely to be at a healthy weight compared to kids who do not consume flavored milk,” Greg Miller, executive vice president of the National Dairy Council, said in July, questioning an opinion piece by two Harvard University professors.

Another study published earlier this year that toddlers who drink 1 percent and skim milk were at an increased risk of being overweight and obese. Read, “High-fat milk better for toddlers? Study says 'yes'.”

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MO  |  September, 04, 2013 at 09:05 AM

I am shocked (sarcasm) to learn that there are state officials that are uneducated or at best misinformed on the value of milk to children. The problem is that they think that they are educated and informed. They read in an article somewhere or heard from a friend that milk was high in fat and therefore it is bad and must be kept away from all people, especially children and they read another article that said that children are fat, so they react. The question is why are our officials so quick to believe pure nonsense? Why don’t they read what we read? The answer is typically laziness on their part and on ours. It is way easier to get your information from someone who said they read an article in some magazine than to actually do research. And it is way easier to publish pro-dairy articles in pro-dairy magazines than to get them in media that state officials will actually see and read. This laziness translates into very poor policies. Those with an anti-animal agriculture agenda don’t care if the information they are putting out is factual or not so long as it supports their agenda. They will and do say anything to accomplish their goals. They are smart enough to avoid debating the facts with us because they know they are going to loose. They focus on getting their “facts” in front of policy makers and keeping our facts away from them. Their goals are clear and they will continue to say and do whatever it takes to accomplish those goals. No animal agriculture.

MO  |  September, 04, 2013 at 09:06 AM

Continued: So the larger question is: What can we do about it? Our advertising campaigns have been pretty good at informing the public about how tasty and nutritious dairy products are but for some reason we rarely refute false information in front of the general public and even less in front of policy makers. We are really good at writing all kinds of articles in our own trade magazines but that is truly preaching to the choir. It would be far more productive to spend a portion of our advertising dollars explaining to the public and policy makers what the true agendas are behind these articles. Who the authors are and what are they trying to accomplish? In our society it seems that all one has to say is that “it is for the children” and everyone will believe what you say. My point is this: Dairy products are very good for children and adults. The research is overwhelmingly in our favor and as new research continues to come out it continues to support what we already know to be true. Dairy products are good for humans. We have the facts. Our opponents are Anti-agriculture, not pro-children. We can prove this and we should.

Michigan  |  September, 04, 2013 at 09:36 AM

I find it interesting that the dairy industry is all for government involvment when it comes to the farm bill. Yet somehow we manage with a straight face to be outraged when big government declares what dairy products children can have. You can not have a partial free market.

MO  |  September, 04, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Doug, You suffer from the exact thing I mentioned above. Of all of the people I know in the dairy business not one of them supports the government being involved in our business in any way at all. In fact everyone of them truely believes that we would all be better off if the government would just get out of it. We all understand that is not going to happen because governments thrive on cheap food and the best way to keep it cheap is to subsidize it. We are represented by marketers and politicians who put their own interest in front of ours. The problem is that the marketers and politicians get the publicity not the producers. We are being ruled not represented and you are listening to the rulers instead of those being ruled. I would suggest that you do some research. You will find that those producers who actually do support a farm bill only do so because they wish to make the best of what is not their choice. There will be a farm bill and it will not be a good thing. Those who choose to get involved in the process are only trying to make the impacts of it less harmful. The government is not going to leave this alone, ever.

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