Campaign group Action on Sugar say there is a “dangerously” high sugar content in some of the flavoured coffees on offer on Britain’s high street.
The charity carried out analysis on a selection of 131 hot flavoured drinks. Of these, a shocking 98% would receive a red nutritional value label to signify high sugar content.
Those who eat diets high in sugar are at risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. A third of the drinks tested contained the same amount or more sugar than a can of Coca Cola (that’s nine teaspoons!).
The drinks in the analysis included mochas, lattes, hot chocolates and hot fruit drinks – all widely available in the UK’s best-known fast food chains and coffee shops.
The worst offenders in terms of sugar content were the following:
- Starbucks’ venti Grape with Chai, Orange and Cinnamon Hot Mulled Fruit: 25 teaspoons of sugar.
- Costa’s massimo eat-in Chai Latte: 20 teaspoons of sugar.
- Starbucks’ venti White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream: 18 teaspoons of sugar.
- KFC’s mocha: 15 teaspoons of sugar.
- Starbucks’ Signature Hot Chocolate: 15 teaspoons of sugar.
- Cafe Nero’s drink-in Caramelatte: 13 teaspoons of sugar.
Chair of Action on Sugar, professor Graham MacGregor said the following:
“David Cameron now has all the evidence to make the UK the first country in the world to stop the obesity in Europe.”
Kawther Hashem, researcher at Action on Sugar, went on to say coffee shops should reduce the sugar content of these drinks immediately and stop serving the extra large sizes.
“These hot flavoured drinks should be an occasional treat, not an ‘everyday’ drink. They are laden with an unbelievable amount of sugar and calories and are often accompanied by a high sugar and fat snack.”
Kawther said their advice is to have smaller portions of plain hot drinks and ask for minimal syrup – or sugar-free syrup if possible.
A spokeswoman from Starbucks said the company have already committed to reducing added sugar in their indulgent drinks by 25% by the end of 2020. They also pointed out that they offer a wide variety of low sugar and sugar-free options while providing nutritional information both online and in-store.