The case of flavored milk


The bad habit of recent decades of altering the most authentic flavors-such as that of milk whose taste is by nature delicately sweet-alters children’s sensory perceptions and sets the stage for even more serious problems, related to a diet with too much added sugar. In an article published in Jama Pediatrics, Harvard pediatrician David Ludwig attributes a negative role to flavored milk in the diets of children, who are increasingly at risk for obesity.
The industry encourages the consumption of these milks by highlighting their reduced fat content, which is 3 percent lower than that of whole milk. And, to the criticism of unbalancing children’s diets by adding 13 percent more sugar compared to regular milk, he replies that the product’s greater palatability promotes the intake of the nutrients typical of this food. An argument that the U.S. professor of pediatrics refutes, appealing to healthy eating guidelines. Much closer to the Italian tradition, in short, based on unsweetened milk accompanied by bread, butter and jam, or cookies and cereal in more recent years.