"Chocolate milk has been unfairly pegged as one of the causes of obesity," said Julie Buric, vice president of marketing for the Milk Processors Education Program.
Others note the nation's child obesity epidemic and say flavored milk simply needs to go.
Eight ounces of white milk served in Los Angeles public schools contains 14 grams of natural sugar or lactose; fat-free chocolate milk has an extra six grams of sugar for a total of 20 grams, while fat-free strawberry milk has a total of 27 grams — the same as eight ounces of Coca-Cola.
"Chocolate milk is soda in drag,"
said Ann Cooper, director of nutrition services for the Boulder Valley School District in Louisville, Colo., which has banned flavored milk. "It works as a treat in homes, but it doesn't belong in schools."
Flavored milk is also a target of British TV chef Jamie Oliver, who has made revamping school food a signature cause.
For a segment to be aired on his "Food Revolution" TV show, he recently filled a school bus with white sand to represent the amount of sugar Los Angeles Unified school children consume weekly in flavored milk.
"If you have flavored milk, that's candy," he told The Associated Press.
Oliver cheered Deasy's proposal to remove flavored milk from schools during a recent joint appearance on the "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" show.