Starbucks drinks can contain up to 25 teaspoons of sugar per serving, as reported by British campaign group Action on Sugar.
One serving of the popular flavored beverages has three times the amount of sugar contained in one can of coke and more than three times the maximum amount adults are recommended to consume per day by the American Heart Association.
Adults should consume no more than 25 grams, or around 6 teaspoons of sugar per day, according to recent recommendations by the World Health Organization. That measure comes in handy when monitoring the daily intake of sugar.
Activists and institutions who have recently spoken up against excessive sugar consumption usually address the amount of sugar contained in sodas, but the report by Action on Sugar remarks how incredibly harmful other flavored beverages are to human health.
The paper states that 98 percent of hot flavored drinks sold at the main coffee chains in the United Kingdom have excessive amounts of sugar per serving. About 35 percent of these contain the same amount as a can of Coca-Cola: nine or more teaspoons of sugar.
The study focused on drinks sold in the U.K., but the findings of the research are similar to nutritional information published online by companies in the United States and elsewhere.
Starbucks has the ‘worst offender’ high-sugar drink
Starbucks’s hot mulled fruit grape with chai, orange and cinnamon were described in the report as the “worst offender”, since it contains 25 teaspoons of sugar. Two other popular options at the globally acclaimed chain, caramel macchiato, and vanilla latte, have more than eight teaspoons of sugar each, as published on the company’s U.S. website.
By the end of 2020, Starbucks expects to have reduced added sugar in its drinks by 25 percent. “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,” a Starbucks spokesperson informed, as reported by CNN.
Action on Sugar found more sugary hot drinks at other coffee shops and food chains
Action on Sugar is a group of specialists who teach people how to reduce their sugar consumption. The staff includes doctors, nutritionists, and public health experts. For the research, they analyzed 131 hot drinks such as chai teas, flavored lattes, mulled fruit drinks and mocha coffees. The survey focused on nine mayor coffee shops and food chains in the UK, including Starbucks, Costa, and Pret a Manger.
A hot macchiato at Dunkin’ Donuts has 7 teaspoons of sugar while a medium vanilla chai has more than 11 teaspoons, the report states. McDonald’s large mocha also contains 11 teaspoons of sugar, compared to KFC’s mocha which includes 15 teaspoons.
But the unhealthiest is the chai latte Massimo at the British chain Costa Coffee, with 20 teaspoons, meaning that a single serving contains enough sugar for more than 3 days.
Researcher for Action on Sugar Kawther Hashem said these drinks should be consumed only as an occasional treat because they contain excessive amounts of sugar and calories and people use to accompany them with a high sugar and fat snack.