It’s bad news for those who enjoy flavored coffee drinks from Starbucks, as a British campaign group reveals that the beverages can contain up to 25 teaspoons of sugar per serving.
Action on Sugar has released a report which shows that some flavored drinks contain three times as much sugar as a can of coke, writes Ivana Kottsova for CNN Money. That’s the equivalent to three times the maximum adult daily intake of sugar that the American Heart Association recommends.
British campaign group reveals shocking sugar content of Starbucks flavored drinks
According to Action on Sugar, 98% of hot flavored drinks sold at UK coffee chains contain far too much sugar, and 35% have 9 or more teaspoons lurking inside. Research was based on drinks sold in the United Kingdom, but the Action on Sugar website shows that levels are similar in the U.S. and other markets.
The group says that it is “a group of specialists concerned with sugar and its effects on health,” which includes doctors, nutritionists and public health specialists. Its research focused on nine major coffee chains including Starbucks, Costa and Pret a Manger.
Action on Sugar works to raise awareness on sugar hidden in everyday food, and is responsible for “Sugar awareness week.” According to the report the worst drink for sugar was a Starbucks hot mulled fruit grape with chai, orange and cinnamon, which contained 25 teaspoons of sugar.
High sugar diet receiving increasing amounts of criticism
Among the more popular Starbucks drinks are vanilla latte and caramel macchiato, both of which contain over 8 teaspoons of sugar. Starbucks says that it will cut the amount of added sugar in its “indulgent drinks” by 25% by 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,” a Starbucks spokesperson said.
“These hot flavored drinks should be an occasional treat, not an ‘everyday’ drink. They are laden with an unbelievable amount (of) sugar and calories and are often accompanied by a high sugar and fat snack,” said Kawther Hashem, a researcher for Action on Sugar.
Awareness of the negative effects of a high sugar diet has been on the rise in recent years. The World Health Organization recently said that the recommended sugar intake for adults should be cut in half, taking it to 25 grams or 6 teaspoons per day.