- Campaign group Action on Sugar surveyed 131 drinks from high street coffee shops for their sugar content
- Found 35% have more sugar than a Coca Cola can – which has 9 teaspoons – the equivalent of 7 chocolate biscuits
- Top offender was a venti (large) serving of Starbucks Hot Mulled fruit drink, which had 25 teaspoons
- Starbucks, Costa and Caffè Nero accused of fuelling a national obesity crisis with their sugar-laden drinks
Popular hot drinks containing a ‘shocking’ 25 teaspoons of sugar are being sold by high street coffee shop chains.
Starbucks, Costa and Caffè Nero have been accused of fuelling a national obesity crisis with their sugar laden speciality drinks.
A large – or venti – serving of a Hot Mulled Fruit drink from Starbucks, which comes with chai, orange and cinnamon, has 99g of sugar.
That equates to 25 teaspoons and is more than three times the recommended maximum for an adult for an entire day.
Recommended maximum daily intake of added sugar for an adult is 30g or around seven teaspoons.
The drink features in a top five of sugar laden drinks surveyed by the campaigning group Action on Sugar.
Its survey of 131 flavoured hot drinks found 98 per cent would receive a red label for high sugar content under guidelines drawn up by the Food Standards Agency.
And 35 per cent of the speciality flavoured drinks contain the same amount or more sugar than Coca Cola, which is nine teaspoons per can – equivalent to seven chocolate biscuits.
Scroll down for video
Popular hot drinks containing more than 25 teaspoons of sugar are being sold by high street coffee shop chains, a survey has revealed. A venti serving of a Hot Mulled Fruit drink from Starbucks, which comes with chai, orange and cinnamon (top left), has 99g of sugar or 25 teaspoons. Pictured are the other worst offenders; Costa Coffee’s Chai Latte (top centre), Starbucks’ White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream (top right), Starbucks’ Signature Hot Chocolate (bottom left), KFC’s Mocha (bottom centre) and Caffè Nero’s Caramelatte (bottom right)
Top offenders include the US chain’s White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream, where a venti has 73.8g – 18 teaspoons.
Even its Signature Hot Chocolate comes in a 60g – 15 teaspoons.
Meanwhile Costa’s Chai Latte Massimo has a whopping 79.7g of sugar – 20 teaspoons.
And a large mocha from KFC has 58.8g – 15 teaspoons – while a Caramelatte from Caffè Nero, measures 50.6g – 13 teaspoons.
In some of these the sugar content was marginally inflated by the natural lactose sugar found in milk.
The campaign group is calling for new legally binding targets requiring supermarkets and manufacturers to cut the sugar content in food and drink.
The idea has the support of supermarkets through the British Retail Consortium, however there are doubts the Government will back the measure in the soon to be published Childhood Obesity Strategy.
Action on Sugar said coffee shops have an enormous influence because there are more than 18,000 outlets selling an estimated 1.7 billion hot drinks a year.
Action on Sugar has created a list of the top six worst offenders (pictured). They say Starbucks, Costa and Caffè Nero have been accused of fuelling a national obesity crisis with their sugar laden speciality drinks
Top offenders include Starbucks’ White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream (left), which contains 73.8g – 18 teaspoons – and Costa Coffee’s Chai Latte Massimo (right), which has 79.7g of sugar – 20 teaspoons
Its chairman, Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, said: ‘This is another example of scandalous amount of sugar added to our food and drink.
‘No wonder we have the highest rates of obesity in Europe.
‘David Cameron now has all the evidence to make the UK the first country in the world to stop the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic.’
Kawther Hashem, a registered nutritionist and researcher for Action in Sugar, said: ‘Coffee shop chains must immediately reduce the amount of sugar in these hot drinks, improve their labelling and stop selling the extra-large serving sizes.
‘These hot flavoured drinks should be an occasional treat, not an “everyday” drink.
‘They are laden with an unbelievable amount sugar and calories and are often accompanied by a high sugar and fat snack. It is not surprising that we have the highest rate of obesity in Europe.’
Action on Sugar is calling for an independent agency to be given responsibility for nutrition and implementing legally binding targets.
These would reformulate food and drink to cut sugar content by 50 per cent and fat by 20 per cent within five years.
The agency would be responsible for banning of all forms of advertising and promotion of unhealthy foods and drinks to children and adolescents.
Controversially, the agency, along with the Treasury, would be responsible for implementing a sugar tax on drinks.
In response to the new findings, Starbucks said: ‘Earlier this year we committed to reduce added sugar in our indulgent drinks by 25 per cent by the end of 2020.
‘We also offer a wide variety of lighter options, sugar-free syrups and sugar-free natural sweetener and we display all nutritional information in-store and online.’
Costa said: ‘We take the nutritional balance of our food and drink very seriously and we have already taken significant steps to reduce the sugar content of our ranges.
‘We intend to continue improving the balance of our product offerings while maintaining the high quality and great taste our customers expect.
‘This April we will be setting salt and sugar reduction targets for 2020.’
THE FULL LIST OF 131 HOT DRINKS ASSESSED BY ACTION ON SUGAR
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online