Latest News » One flavored coffee drink could contain more sugar than your daily limit

A new campaign hopes to encourage the public to cut back on flavored coffee drinks to reduce sugar intake and improve overall health.

A new campaign hopes to encourage the public to cut back on flavored coffee drinks to reduce sugar intake and improve overall health.

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then a latte a day brings the doctor right back. New research has found that flavored drinks from major coffee chains can contain up to 25 teaspoons of sugar each, more than three times the recommended daily intake for adults. Consuming too much sugar is associated with health issues such as obesity and diabetes.

These drinks are to blame
After analyzing 131 hot drinks from nine different coffee shops and food chains, British campaign group Action on Sugar found that 98 percent had excessive sugar, and 35 percent contained as much sugar as a can of Coca Cola. Starbucks' hot mulled fruit grape drink had the most sugar, with 25 teaspoons, while other popular drinks from the major coffee chain, such as the vanilla latte and caramel macchiato contained eight teaspoons each.

The group's major concern is that people who order these drinks on a regular basis might not understand just how much sugar they're consuming and how it could put them at risk for poor health.

"These hot flavored drinks should be an occasional treat, not an 'everyday' drink," Kawther Hashem, a researcher for Action on Sugar, told CNN Money. "They are laden with an unbelievable amount [of] sugar and calories and are often accompanied by a high sugar and fat snack."

The proposed solution
Starbucks has said that it hopes to reduce added sugar by 25 percent in these "indulgent drinks" by the year 2020. For now, excess sugar remains a significant risk factor for conditions like obesity, tooth decay and diabetes — issues that prompted the creation of Action on Sugar. The group, which is comprised of doctors, nutritionists and public health specialists, hopes to to raise awareness on these adverse health effects through studies like this one as well as its "Sugar Awareness Week." 

The World Health Organization has also recommended a reduction in sugar intake, suggesting a new limit of 25 grams (or six teaspoons) for a normal weight adult. The issue has gained momentum in recent years, especially as obesity and diabetes continue to be rising health concerns.

According to a literature review by WHO, sugar intake has a significant influence on body weight. Despite it being just one of many causes of obesity, research has found that rapid weight gain often occurs after increasing sugar consumption. This has lead experts to recommend decreased sugar intake as a cornerstone of any weight management plan.

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