Coffee runs leading to sugar hits: survey

A barista makes coffee in the Lavazza marquee in the Birdcage at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. The Birdcage functions over the four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival are widely considered a highlight of the Australian social calendar. (AAP Image/Julian Smith) NO ARCHIVING


(Australian Associated Press)

The morning coffee run is delivering more than caffeine to many Australians.

The regular trip can result in those wanting a heart starter to also unknowingly consume their entire daily sugar or saturated fats limits and half the suggested kilojoule intake.

A new Cancer Council NSW study looked at 564 menu items sold at Gloria Jeans, The Coffee Club, McCafe, Muffin Break and Michels Patisserie.

The energy, saturated fat, and sugar content of the beverages and snacks were assessed and compared to the average daily allowance recommended by health authorities.

“Many Australians rely on a take away coffee for their morning kick start but people might be unaware of just how much sugar, saturated fat and kilojoules they are consuming each day if they’re ordering anything more than the standard flat white, cappuccino or latte,” says co-author Clare Hughes.

The study found that 54 per cent of cold beverages including iced coffees and chocolate drinks had more than half of the sugar allowance in one serving.

McCafe’s Coffee Kick Frappe had 19 teaspoons of sugar which is 86 per cent of the average daily amount advised by health authorities.

The Coffee Club’s large iced coffee had 39g of saturated fat, 163 per cent of the daily allowance, and Muffin Breaks large chai latte had half the daily allowance.

A large skim Tim Tam iced chocolate from Gloria Jeans will give you a 20 teaspoon sugar hit.

And McCafe’s banana bread contained 14 teaspoons of sugar and 2570 kilojoules.

“This is about the same as a McDonald’s Big Mac, which we’re more likely to have as part of a meal.”

Cancer Council NSW is calling on the cafe chains to provide smaller, healthier portion sizes across their drinks and snack ranges.

“If we can stabilise or decrease obesity levels in Australia, half a million lives could be saved by 2050,” Ms Hughes said.


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