Do you start your morning commute with a hot drink from one of the major chains? You could be drinking up to 25 teaspoons of sugar in one drink, according to new research from the campaign group Action on Sugar.
They have found that 98% of the 131 hot flavoured drinks found in the big high street chains would carry a “red” warning for excessive levels of sugar if the coffee shops were forced to label them. The worst case is Starbucks’s Hot Mulled Fruit (grape with chai, orange and cinnamon venti) which came in at a whopping 25 teaspoons of sugar; that’s more than three times the recommended maximum adult daily intake or the equivalent to three cans of Coca-Cola.
Costa’s largest chai latte was found to contain 20 teaspoons of sugar, while an extra large Signature hot chocolate from Starbucks contained 15 teaspoons, double the daily adult maximum. More than a third of the drinks tested were found to contain the same – or higher – levels of sugar as a can of Coca-Cola.
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.
Despite the negative attention that the likes of Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero attracted last year after reports that some of their Christmas drinks were full of fat and sugar, it’s clear that little has been done to rectify the situation and reduce sugar ladened drinks from their menus.
Sugar can also result in mood highs and lows which can lead to feelings of aggression, anxiety, confusion, depression, fatigue and irritability.
Action on Sugar is calling for an independent agency to be given responsibility for nutrition and implementing legally binding targets.