Hot drinks sickly sweet

Stop the press: Starbucks' white chocolate mocha with whipped cream (grande) contains lots of sugar. Ditto KFC’s mocha, Costa’s Mocha Latte Massimo and Caffe Nero’s Caramelatte.

Action on Sugar’s hot drinks survey 2016 findings should perhaps be taken with a pinch of, er, sugar. Consumers might not know that some of the drinks listed above contain over a dozen spoonfuls the white stuff (more than the seven “free sugar” spoons recommended per day), but surely they know they aren’t going to be good for their waistline?

Less obvious, though, is the sugar content in some of the hot fruit drinks – Starbucks’ “grape with chai, orange and cinnamon venti” tops the survey with a whopping 25 teaspoons per cup (99 grams).

Also interesting is the difference between take out and drink in options – with the former tending to be higher in sugar. A gingerbread latte Massimo at Costa will pump you with 36 grams of sugar if you take it away, but only 34.9 grams if you sit in (the walk back to the office may well burn off the extra 1.2 grams).

“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,” said Action on Sugar nutritionist Kawther Hashem. “These hot flavoured drinks should be an occasional treat, not an everyday drink.”

But are people really drinking them every day? It’s hard to say. But if they are, then companies have a responsibility to ensure they are fully aware of the sugar content.

 

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