08/12/2015 12:27 GMT | Updated 08/12/2016 05:12 GMT

Christmas Cups of Obesity and Disease

Most people over indulge during the Christmas period...

Mince pies, chocolates, coated nuts, crisps, mulled wine...


I'm not here to be the Scrooge of Christmas treats, everyone deserves a little indulgence during the festive season. However, I do want to make you aware of how much sugar is in these festive beverages, before you make them a habit.

With my dissertation to write this year, I'm spending a considerable amount of time sitting in coffee shops with my laptop. I'm watching the business men and women ordering strong black coffees, the friendly chats between friends over a latte or two, but the thing that's caught my attention the most...

...the number of people, particularly children and teenagers, knocking back large sugar laden Christmassy drinks, topped with lashings of cream and sauce!

Again, I'm not here to slate people for enjoying a treat. BUT, I'm seeing a huge trend in youngsters and teenagers going to large chain coffee shops, day in day out, during lunch breaks or on their way home from school.

What are they ordering??? Well many of them probably don't like coffee. But, with attractive Christmas cups, and with coffee chains becoming the newest trendy places to hang out, the festive drinks with their sweet flavours and creamy toppings are becoming the a regular occurrence. These easy-to-drink, desert like beverages are attractive to young people, with the coffee flavour barely detectable.

In recent years, there has been a move towards reducing the amount of sugar sweetened beverages consumed in the UK. Even Jamie Oliver has been on the case lately with his Sugar Rush documentary. So why is no one drawing attention to this sugar laden beverage trend which is taking over in the young population???

A rant about SUGAR (Okay not just a rant, this is research based stuff people so listen up).....

We know that those with higher intakes of refined sugar tend to have a higher intake of calories. Sugar does not make you feel full, making it very easy to over consume. Not great when we're in the midst of an obesity epidemic!

We also know that higher intakes of refined sugar are associated with;

  • increased levels of small dense LDL cholesterol in the blood (the worst kind)
  • decreased levels of HDL cholesterol in the blood (the good kind)
  • increased triglyceride levels in the blood
  • increased inflammation



A Large Honey and Almond Hot Chocolate from Starbucks contains 560kcals and 72.5g of SUGAR

- That's 18 teaspoons!

- The same amount of sugar as there is in a full size bag of HARIBO sweets!

- Thinking of having a small rather than a large... still 45.5g, or 11 teaspoons of sugar in a small cup!

A Large Sticky Toffee Latte from Costa contains 610kcals and 75.2g of SUGAR

- That's 18.5 teaspoons!

- The same amount of sugar as there is in 11 Jam Doughnuts!

- Thinking of having a small rather than a large..... still 38.4g, or 9.5 teaspoons of sugar in a small cup!

Now lets imagine you have a cake on the side....come on it's Christmas right....

A slice of Starbucks Christmas Carrot Cake contains 647kcals and 63g of sugar!!!!!! (thought you were picking the healthier option with the carrot cake didn't you?!)

So, your large drink and your cake just totaled... wait for it...

1, 207kcals and 135.5g of SUGAR!!!!

Anyone seeing my point here?

Merry Christmas everyone, stay healthy ;-)

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