It was once a staple of public school cafeterias that blended the indulgent and the nutritious, satisfying parents and children both. But chocolate milk is uncontroversial no more. Dozens of districts have demanded reformulations. Others have banned it outright.

At the center of these battles are complex public health calculations: Is it better to remove sugary chocolate flavorings at the risk that many students will skip milk altogether, missing out on crucial calcium and Vitamin D? Or should schools instead make tweaks — less fat, different sweeteners, fewer calories — that might salvage the benefits while while minimizing the downside?

However schools answer these questions, protest inevitably follows.

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