Buyer Beware: Your favorite Starbucks beverage might contain as much as 25 teaspoons of sugar.
That’s more than 1/4 cup of sugar and around 400 calories. Starbucks has just changed its Rewards program to reduce perks for purchases, but not the sugar content.
25 teaspoons of sugar in some Starbucks drinks
25 teaspoons of sugar in the sweetest Starbucks drinks is nearly three times as sweet as a 12-ounce can of regular Coca Cola, which contains nine teaspoons of sugar and a bit less than 150 calories, according to the website Sugar Stacks, which has the sugar, carb and calorie count of just about every snack food and drink you can think of.
Either way – Starbucks or Coke, Big Gulp or Red Bull – it’s as much or more than three times the maximum adult daily intake recommended by the American Heart Association in a single drink.
The World Health Organization has suggested cutting in half the current recommended sugar intake for adults in half, to about 25 grams, around 6 teaspoons, of sugar for a normal weight adult a day.
That could help put a dent in the growing number of overweight and obese people, and the frightening increase of diabetes in many parts of the world, including here in the USA, and it’s a reason why health campaigns against excessive sugar contents has been gaining momentum in recent years.
Connection between excessive sugar and obesity
The staggering Starbucks sugar content was published in a new report by a British campaign group Action on Sugar, which is associated with the University of London, said that 98% of hot flavored drinks sold at major coffee chains in the U.K. have excessive levels of sugars per serving. More than one-third contain nine or more teaspoons of sugar — the same amount as a can of Coca Cola.
The research focused on drinks sold in the U.K., but nutritional information published on the companies’ website show that sugar levels are similar in the U.S. and elsewhere.
According to CNN Money, Action on Sugar describes itself as “a group of specialists concerned with sugar and its effects on health.” Its advisers and staff include doctors, nutritionists and public health specialists, and organizes an annual Sugar Awareness Week.
The group analyzed 131 hot drinks, including flavored lattes, chai teas, mocha coffees and mulled fruit drinks at large coffee shop chains in Britain, including international chains Starbucks, and Pret a Manger.
The report said the worst offender was Starbucks hot mulled fruit grape with chai, orange and cinnamon with 25 teaspoons of sugar.
Two other popular Starbucks choices — vanilla latte and caramel macchiato — contain more than eight teaspoons of sugar each, according to the company’s U.S. website.
Starbucks calls their high-sugar drinks “indulgent drinks” – a treat with a high price and high sugar content.
The company says it intends to reduce sugar content in these beverages by 25%, but it will take until the end of 2020.
Also according to Action on Sugar via CNN Money:
- A medium Dunkin’ Donuts vanilla chai has more than 11 teaspoons of sugar, while a hot macchiato contains seven 7 teaspoons.
- KFC‘s mocha contains 15 teaspoons of sugar.
- A large mocha at McDonald’s has 11 teaspoons,
- A chai latte massimo at the British chain Costa Coffee includes 20 teaspoons.
images courtesy CNN Money and Science Daily.
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