17 Feb 2016 --- New research by Action on Sugar shows that 98% of the 131 hot flavored drinks analyzed would receive a ‘red’ (high) label for excessive levels of sugars per serving as sold. As much as 25 teaspoons of sugar can be found in some drinks, which is more than three times the recommended maximum daily intake for adults.
With an estimated 1.7 billion cups of coffee sold each year in the UK from over 18,000 outlets and one in five of the population (including teenagers) visiting a coffee shop daily, campaign group Action on Sugar is warning of the dangerously high sugar content of certain hot beverages found in many high street coffee shop chains.
Alarmingly, 35% of the hot flavored drinks contain the same amount or more sugars than Coca Cola, which contains a massive 9 teaspoons of sugar per can – equivalent to 7 chocolate biscuits.
Kawther Hashem, Registered Nutritionist and Researcher for Action on Sugar tells FoodIngredientsFirst that people are not aware of the levels of sugar in drinks which is why they did the survey. She explains: "Despite the perceived ‘healthy’ marketing when it comes to certain teas, it’s astonishing to learn that a Costa Coffee’s Chai Latte (large) contains a massive 20 teaspoons of sugar per serving followed by Starbucks’s Chai Tea Latte Venti (extra-large) with 13 teaspoons alongside Eat’s Chai Latte Big and Matcha Latte Big at 11 teaspoons."
The worst offender is the Starbucks’s Hot Mulled Fruit - Grape with Chai, Orange and Cinnamon Venti (extra-large) – a mix of chai and fruit concentrate, topped with a cinnamon stick and a slice of orange – which contains 25 teaspoons of sugar (that’s the equivalent of sugar in 5 muffins), followed by Costa Coffee’s Chai Latte (large) with a massive 20 teaspoons of sugar. Interestingly, a Starbucks’s Hot Mulled Fruit - Grape with Chai, Orange and Cinnamon Tall (medium) has almost half the amount of sugar than the larger sized cup (13 vs 25 tsp).
Worst offenders for each type of flavoured hot drink per serving:
Sugars per serving (g)
Teaspoons of sugar per serving**
Hot Mulled Fruit - Grape with Chai, Orange and Cinnamon - Venti
Hot Mulled Fruit
Chai Latte - Massimo - Eat In
White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream - Venti
Signature Hot Chocolate - Venti
Caramelatte – Drink In
* Contains some sugars (lactose) naturally occurring in the milk.
** 4 grams of sugar is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Worryingly, from the entire out-of-home hot drinks surveyed, 55% contain the equivalent, or more than, the maximum daily recommended amount of sugars for an adult and teenager (30g – 7tsp/d).
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