Put down your flavored Starbucks drink and walk away slowly. A new study by British campaign group Action on Sugar, has found that some drinks at Starbucks may contain up to 25 teaspoons of sugar.
To put that number into perspective, a single Starbucks drink can contain as much sugar as three cans of Coke and more than three times the recommended daily intake suggested by the American Heart Association.
The report found that 98% of hot flavored drinks at major coffee chains in the UK had excessive amounts of sugar.
35% of all drinks contained nine or more teaspoons of sugar — the same amount as a can of Coca Cola.
While the study focused on UK drinks, the nutritional information is comparable to drinks sold in the United States.
Action on Sugar describes itself as “a group of specialists concerned with sugar and its effects on health.” Its advisers and staff include doctors, nutritionists and public health specialists.
The report said Starbucks’ hot mulled fruit grape with chai, orange and cinnamon was the “worst offender,” with 25 teaspoons of sugar.
Two other Starbucks drinks also topped its list — the vanilla latte and caramel macchiato — both contain more than eight teaspoons of sugar.
Starbucks has already committed to reducing sugar in its “indulgent drinks” by 25% by the end of 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.
Starbucks isn’t the only bad offender, the vanilla chai at Dunkin’ Donuts has 11 teaspoons of sugar. KFC’s mocha contains 15 teaspoons of sugar. A large mocha at McDonald’s has 11 teaspoons.
Researchers warn consumers that these drinks should be a treat that shouldn’t be purchased every single day for health reasons.