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Skim is in: CT lawmakers want to ban whole milk in day cares

By   /   April 25, 2014  /   News  /   No Comments

Part 3 of 84 in the series Nanny State of the Week

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

A bill proposed by a trio of state lawmakers in Connecticut would prohibit day-care centers from feeding whole milk or 2-percent milk to any child older than 2. The bills’ sponsors say it’s part of an effort to curb childhood obesity.

We’re not even talking about so-called “raw milk,” the unpasteurized, straight-from-the-cow-to-your-lips product  banned in one form or another by just about every state.

SKIM OR NOTHING: A proposed ban in Connecticut would keep kids off the heavy milk after they turned two.

We’re talking about whole milk here, people.

State Sen. Catherine Osten, D-New London; state Rep. Roberta Willis, D-Litchfield; and state Rep. David Zoni, D-Hartford, did not return calls for comment, but their legislation says the goal is to establish nutritional standards for day cares.

Let’s give them a little bit of the benefit of the doubt.

Sure, whole milk is pretty loaded with fats. And just because kids have been drinking it for decades — nay, centuries — doesn’t necessarily mean we shouldn’t examine the health risks of guzzling gallons of the creamy stuff.

But is skim milk really that much better?

Actually, skim milk is pretty disgusting — aside from the fact  it looks like milky water rather than watery milk — because it’s processed a whole lot more than whole milk.

All those treatments might actually make skim milk worse for you because they oxidize the cholesterol in the milk and make it easier for your body to absorb it.

Which is not to say that low-fat milk is worse for you, but the benefits of drinking it and feeding it to kids seem to be marginal at best and possibly downright non-existent when you look at some of the trade-offs.

A study published last year in Archives of Disease in Childhood found that kids who drink low-fat milk are actually more likely to be obese.

WHAT ABOUT SCIENCE: It says “skim” right in the name, so it must be healthier, right? Not exactly. Studies show that drinking skim milk might actually increase childhood obesity.

Our original hypothesis was that children who drank high-fat milk, either whole milk or 2 (percent) would be heavier because they were consuming more saturated-fat calories. We were really surprised when we looked at the data and it was very clear that within every ethnicity and every socioeconomic strata, that it was actually the opposite, that children who drank skim milk and 1 (percent) were heavier than those who drank 2 (percent) and whole,” study author Dr. Mark Daniel DeBoer, an associate professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, told Time Magazine in March 2013.

So the lawmakers are just plain wrong to suggest that this effort at child care micro-management from Hartford would actually curb obesity and turn Connecticut’s kids into the nation’s leanest toddlers.

But that’s not really the point here. The point is that lawmakers are trying to tell parents and trained child-care specialists what they are allowed to pump into their 5 year-olds, which is a decision probably best left to those parents and child-care specialists.

In other words, if your child’s doctor says your child should drink skim milk because of body type and dietary needs, crack open the skim. But just because Mason needs low-fat milk in his lunch doesn’t mean that Sofia, Aiden and Hannah need it, too.

If I had an obese child as a parent, I would not give my child whole milk,” Deb Boucher of West Hartford told WFSB-TV. “But, I don’t want the state Legislature to decide for me.

The same bill also regulates the amount of juice children are allowed to consume on a daily basis — no juice at all to children younger than 8 months and no more than six ounces of juice per day to older kids. It must be 100 percent juice.

For their efforts at legislative parenting, the aforementioned lawmakers win our “nanny state of the week” award. They get a tall glass of warm skim milk and an endless loop of children crying on tape.

Contact Eric Boehm at [email protected] and follow @WatchdogOrg and @EricBoehm87 on Twitter for more.

Part of 84 in the series Nanny State of the Week
  1. Nanny-state state of the week: MD may become first to ban Vaportinis
  2. Nanny-state city of the week: Minneapolis wants to ban take-out trays
  3. Skim is in: CT lawmakers want to ban whole milk in day cares
  4. Nanny state of the week: Fairfax, VA, wants to limit the right to assemble
  5. Nanny state of the week: SC — and Schumer — for duplicative efforts to ban powdered alcohol
  6. Nanny of the Week: Virginia hoses down car wash fundraisers
  7. Nanny of the Week: Even a summertime trip to the beach can’t be nanny-free
  8. Nanny of the week: Federal authorities think feral cats can read signs
  9. Nanny of the week: Cambridge wants to ban ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft
  10. Nanny-stater of the week: NY lawmaker wants to ban photos with tigers
  11. Nanny-stater of the Week: Who needs cupcakes and candy? Here, have a pencil
  12. Nanny-stater of the week: Fargo limits kids to less than four shots of juice per day
  13. Nanny-stater of the week: Wisconsin towns fight repeal of bow ban
  14. Nanny of the week: No fun in the sun, thanks to Congress and FDA
  15. Nanny-stater of the week: DOT to ban cell phone use on planes
  16. Nanny of the week: The out-of-control trend of arresting non-helicopter moms
  17. Nanny of the Week: Vermont city could ban ‘human activity’
  18. Nanny of the Week: Mississippi makes bird feeders illegal – by accident
  19. Nanny of the week: MO town bans breastfeeding near pools
  20. Nanny of the Week: School bans lip balm, 11 year-old girl fights back
  21. Watchdog.org blows lid off Vermont’s bake sale brownie ban
  22. Nanny of the Week: Seattle imposes fine on residents who throw away food
  23. Nanny of the Week: California bans plastic bags
  24. Nanny of the week: Maybe this time it will be different for Chicago
  25. Nanny of the Week: Florida growls at craft breweries’ growlers
  26. Nanny of the Week: Massachusetts town seeking to ban tobacco faces uprising from residents
  27. Nanny of the Week: Proposed bans on Thanksgiving Day shopping
  28. Nanny of the week: U.S. government bans ‘Comfyballs’ underwear
  29. Nanny of the Week: Better take down those holiday decorations
  30. Nanny of the week: Towns ban sledding
  31. Nanny of the Week: New York City plans to ban out-of-state cars
  32. Nanny of the Week: Snow-shoveling teens get in trouble with the law
  33. Nanny of the Week: Get caught wearing yoga pants three times, go to jail for life
  34. Nanny of the Week: Georgia lawmaker wants to ban mermaids, werewolves, other fictional creatures from real life
  35. Nanny State of the Week: Endangering manatees in Florida
  36. Nanny of the Week: Christie caves to protectionist gravestone proposal in N.J.
  37. Nanny of the Week: Don’t mix beer and ice cream – because of the children
  38. Nanny of the Week: Is the minimum wage a nanny state policy?
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  40. Nanny of the Week: NJ continues ban on self-serve gasoline, because sometimes it snows
  41. Nanny of the Week: Bernie Sanders is coming for your deodorant
  42. Nanny of the Week: Will babies confuse beer for their binkies?
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  55. Nanny State of the Week: D.C. flexing licensing muscles at personal trainers
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  57. Nanny State of the Week: County can use same lawn treatments it banned residents from using
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  59. Nanny State of the Week: Bay Area bureaucrats ban fireplaces, wood stoves
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  62. Nanny State of the Week: New York might accidentally ban makeup
  63. Nanny State of the Week: California could be first state to apply no-fly list to guns
  64. Nanny State of the Week: University may block social media app in futile effort to combat racism
  65. Nanny State of the Week: City fines residents for chipped paint, mismatched curtains
  66. Nanny State of the Week: No Christmas in Bethlehem this year
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  69. Nanny State of the Week: Minnesota men facing felony charges for selling beer
  70. Nanny State of the Week: City rewrites law to block theater from getting liquor license
  71. Nanny State of the Week: FDA goes beyond the pale, prepares to ban teen tanning
  72. Nanny State of the Week: Charleston’s storied history is off-limits to the unlicensed
  73. Nanny State of the Week: Feds marketing food stamps with bingo games, TV ads
  74. Nanny State of the Week: No sipping and selling for Alabama winemakers
  75. Nanny State of the Week: Jail time for texting while walking in New Jersey
  76. Nanny State of the Week: In time for Opening Day, cities ban chewing tobacco at ballparks
  77. Nanny State of the Week: Feds send LSD Ale on a long, strange trip
  78. Nanny State of the Week: Happy Tax Day! Now get ready to pay more to file
  79. Nanny State of the Week: A state license for breast-feeding advice?
  80. Nanny State of the Week: School officials bully kids with ban on skinny jeans
  81. Nanny State of the Week: FDA fries family’s potato chip business with new cooking oil mandates
  82. Nanny State of the Week: CFPB knows what is best for your personal finances
  83. Nanny State of the Week: City cracks down on crawfish boils after mayor’s aide complains
  84. Nanny State of the Week: Florida couple still fighting for their vegetable garden
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    Eric Boehm is the national regulatory reporter for Watchdog.org. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. His work has appeared in Reason Magazine, National Review Online, The Freeman Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Examiner and Fox News. He was once featured in a BuzzFeed listicle. Follow him on Twitter @EricBoehm87 and reach him at [email protected]