When ordering a refresher from a coffee shop, do you think about how much sugar is in it?
New research from the British campaign and charity group Action on Sugar has uncovered that there is a ‘shocking’ amount of the stuff in the hot drinks sold by high-street chains such as Starbucks and Costa Coffee.
The National Health Service recommends that the maximum intake of sugar for those aged eleven and over should be no more than 30g, or seven teaspoons.
The charity said that, in some cases, drinks contained over twenty teaspoons of sugar.
A third had at least as much sugar as a standard can of Coca-Cola, Pepsi or other similar sweetened carbonated drinks.
It makes you think twice before adding an extra lump of sugar to your drink doesn’t it?
Action on Sugar looked at a wide variety of popular drinks such as lattes, mochas and hot chocolates from a wide selection of coffee shops and fast-food outlets.
The worst offender was Starbucks’ venti Grape with Chai, Orange and Cinnamon Hot Mulled Fruit that topped the table with twenty-five teaspoons of sugar.
Unsurprisingly, many of the drinks that finished with the worst scores were the largest options available. But not all: KFC’s mocha and Starbucks’ Signature Hot Chocolate both had fifteen teaspoons of sugar in them – twice the recommended daily dose.
“These hot flavoured drinks should be an occasional treat, not an everyday drink,” said Kawther Hashem, a researcher for Action on Sugar.
While the group’s chair, Professor Graham MacGregor, stated it was “another example of scandalous amounts of sugar [being] added to our food and drink.”
In response to the report, a spokeswoman from Caffe Nero said that the company is in the process of making changes to reduce the sugar content in some of its iced drinks.
“In addition,” she continued, “we offer sugar-free syrups for many drinks, and all nutritional information is available on our website so that customers can make an informed choice. This will remain a focus as we look at the sugar content in all our drinks.”
But are things as bad as the report makes out?
The majority of the drinks investigated were syrup-laden concoctions or larger beverages made with a substantial quantity of milk.
So, if you are a fan of these super-sized and flavoursome lattes and hot chocolates, then you probably should take note of the findings and heed the warnings about limiting your intake.
Yet if you stick to espressos, filter/drip coffees and Americanos, you’re fine – so don’t panic.