How Whole Milk Became Illegal in Schools, And Why It’s Time to Bring it Back

Congressman introduces “Whole Milk Act” aka “Intelligent, Literate Kids Act”

For the last several decades, the government has been warning us of the dangers of saturated fats, and with that, the dangers of whole-fat milk. The warnings came out of an elaborate attempt by the sugar industry to blame obesity on dietary fat, rather than sugar.

Starting in 2006, New York and England went so far as banning whole-fat milk in schools to fight childhood obesity.

Under the Obama administration, the whole-fat milk ban became nationwide. The Department of Agriculture changed the rules for all schools enrolled in the National School Lunch program. In order to continue receiving federal funding, they were only allowed to serve 1 percent milk.

Mounting evidence suggests the switch to low-fat milk didn’t have the effect lawmakers were hoping for.

In fact, a growing number of studies indicate whole fat milk is actually protective against obesity.

The new information has prompted one lawmaker to introduce legislation to bring it back.

Republican Congressman Tom Marino and 10 cosponsors are trying to add “The WHOLE MILK Act” to the Farm Bill now before congress.

The title of the bill is an acronym for the bill’s longer title: “Wholesome Healthy Original Lactic Excellence Making Intelligent Literate Kids Act.”

“When the Obama administration changed the National School Lunch Program to allow only one percent milk to be sold during school lunches they claimed to be doing a service for our school children,” Marino said in a statement. “We saw the complete opposite, children stopped drinking milk in school and food waste went up.”

“Numerous studies have shown consuming whole milk to be a good way to prevent childhood obesity and help your body absorb more vitamins,” he said.

Below are the surprising findings of two of those studies:

1. A 2013 study found that “high dairy fat intake was related to less central obesity.”

The 12-year study of nearly 2000 Swedish men found that “a low intake of dairy fat (no butter and low fat milk and seldom/never whipping cream) was associated with a higher risk of developing obesity,” while “a high intake of dairy fat (butter as spread and high fat milk and whipping cream) was associated with a lower risk of obesity.”

2. Further, a 2017 study found that “full-fat milk consumption protects against severe childhood obesity in Latinos.”

The study observed 145 3-year-old Latino children, a population with a disproportionate burden of obesity. Researchers found that the most severely obese children consumed little if any milk fat, while those who consumed the most milk fat had the lowest rates of obesity.

“These results call into question recommendations that promote consumption of lower fat milk,” the researchers wrote.

As Joel Salatin points out in this post for, the very best kind of milk for preventing childhood obesity is raw, grass-fed milk, as it is full of highly digestible omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, probiotics and enzymes that are not denatured in the pasteurization or homogenization processes.

RELATED: Raw Milk vs. Pasteurized Milk: This is What Happens When You Don’t Refrigerate It