Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Big Milk RD wants kids to drink 1/2 cup of sugar daily

Meet Shannon Crocker.

She's a registered dietitian who runs her own nutritional consulting company whose clients include Gaylea foods (a dairy company) and Dairy Farmers of Canada.

On her personal website S. Crocker Consulting, Shannon recommends,

"when seeking life advice to go to people who are required by law to get their information from the most credible sources and held accountable for the information they dispense"
I couldn't agree more - so let's talk about the information you recently dispensed.

In a recent advertisement gussied up as a pretend newspaper article with the lead recommendation of,
"Research shows that two to three servings of milk products each day, included as part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle, are vital in maintaining our families’ health."
Shannon is quoted as stating,
"I personally am a great lover of chocolate milk. It has a bit of added sugar to it but all those essential health benefits are there and as long as it is part of a healthy diet, that extra sugar should not do children who shy away from ordinary milk any harm.”
A "bit" of added sugar Shannon? Per cup of your client Gaylea's 1% chocolate milk there are nearly 5 teaspoons of added sugar. If unsuspecting parents followed your advertisement's advice to give their children a "harmless" 3 glasses of chocolate milk a day that's now 15 teaspoons of added sugar, not to mention the sugar already in the milk. In total those children will be consuming 23 1/4 teaspoons of sugar a day - 3/4 of a teaspoon shy of half a cup.

Want to know what else they'd be drinking Shannon? They'll also be drinking 600mg of sodium (who would have thunk chocolate milk had so much sodium - um, maybe a dietitian working for the company who makes the product?), or a full 1/2 of the total recommended daily maximum for kids under 8 and 40% of total recommended daily adult maximums.

But wait, there's more. They'd also be downing 540, not satiating, liquid calories a day, or roughly the same amount they'd get if they were chugging 1.5 daily litres of Coke.

Doing the math - a year's worth Shannon's advice would have your kids drinking just over 90 pounds of sugar, that's eighteen 5lb bags, as well as 2 full cups of salt and 54lbs worth of calories.

Fantastic advice Shannon. So glad we've got "credible sources" of information like you to help us navigate as you put it on your website, "the incredible amount of myth and misinformation", because surely it's just a myth that chocolate milk is an unhealthy choice, and advertisements dressed up as newspaper articles with quotes from registered dietitians stating that magic nutrients in milk make the daily consumption of 1/2 a cup of liquid sugar and far too much sodium and calories a-ok, are meant to help, not misinform.

Parents, think of a glass of chocolate milk like a liquid chocolate bar. If you think giving your kids a Hershey's bar with each meal is a good plan, well then you and Shannon would probably get along great. If not, consider it a sometimes food.

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