Hawley supports returning 2% and whole milk to schools | Featured story
BATAVIA — Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, supports the passage of a bill that would allow New York schools to purchase whole and 2% milk produced in the state.
The bill is modeled after similar legislation recently passed in Pennsylvania.
Although the regulations banning these types of milk were put in place to combat rising trends in childhood obesity rates and type 2 diabetes diagnoses, the trends didn’t continue until after it was enacted, a Hawley’s office said in a press release. Contrary to the narrative that whole milk and 2% milk are unhealthy for children, recent studies have shown that children who drink whole milk products tend to be leaner than their peers and have a lower risk of become obese.
Other studies have shown that those who eat whole dairy products may have a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, increased satiety without weight gain and better sleep, said the Hawley’s office.
The removal of these dairy options has also had a negative effect on dairy farms in upstate New York, which have long relied on revenue from the sale of milk to schools to keep their businesses operational. Already facing numerous obstacles to maintaining their viability as a business in recent years, including the lowering of the overtime threshold for farmworkers, Hawley hopes the passage of the bill will help dairy farmers survive the these new challenges to their livelihoods.
“Removing 2% milk and whole milk from school cafeterias has had nothing but negative impacts on all stakeholders involved, including children and farmers,” Hawley said. “Providing more dairy options to students will only encourage them to get the nutrition their growing bodies need from milk and will help farmers recoup lost income since this ill-conceived ban was passed.”