ATLANTA, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Substituting low-fat and fat-free milk for whole milk in schools can substantively reduce student consumption of calories and fat, U.S. health officials say.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Thursday says changes to the New York City department of education's milk policy greatly reduced the amount of calories and fat available to public school students.
"Due to the system-wide switch from whole to low-fat/fat-free milk in 2005, a milk-drinking student is exposed to 33 fewer calories and 3.4 fewer grams of fat per school day, or almost 6,000 fewer calories and over 600 fewer grams of fat annually," the report said.
"Annual savings are larger for students who drink white milk -- 7,000 fewer calories and over 900 fewer grams of fat -- and school purchases of milk per student actually increased 1.3 percent after the switch."
School milk policy changes are a viable way to reduce calorie/fat exposure without decreasing consumption of important vitamins and minerals, health officials say.