Don't worry, soda isn't replacing milk in kids' diets

Illustration for article titled Dont worry, soda isnt replacing milk in kids diets

It's one of the great canards of fretting over the youth — they're drinking too much soda and abandoning the homey goodness of milk. Well, it turns out that kids are drinking more sugary drinks, but it's not linked to a decline in drinks that aren't horrible for them.

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According to data analysed from surveying thousands of children from 5th to 8th grade, kids are drinking more sugary drinks on the whole, and consuming less of milk and 100% juice, but the two aren't connected. In fact, once they corrected for variables associated with demographic and nutrition characteristics, they found that "changes in children's milk consumption were not significantly related to changes in their consumption of sweetened beverages over time."

The one link they did find was that kids cut back or increased both milk and juice in tandem. Kids who began to drink less milk also drank less juice, and likewise for drinking less. Right, so what other boogeyman can we blame the ills of today's youth on? Is prescription drug abuse still a thing?

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Image: "Fry and The Slurm Factory"

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DISCUSSION

It's not like milk is all that great for you, especially if you eat the wildly disproportionate servings of meat, eggs and cheese typical to the American diet. Being nutrient dense means that you get enough of it at a very low threshold. You don't really want to encourage either milk or soda as a go-to beverage.