When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a ban on large, sugary drinks, public outcry ensued. But concerns over governmental intervention aside, we’ve got to admit the man has a point. The beverage landscape is filled with outrageously unhealthy drinks, and people might be surprised to find out just how much liquid sugar they’re guzzling.
Are things really that bad? Yup. The recommended daily allowance is 36 grams of sugar per day, which is actually pretty generous. That’s nine teaspoons of sugar. For reference, you could eat a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar (26 grams of sugar) and still have more than two teaspoons left to sweeten your coffee.
In fact, it turns out many of these drinks trump candy bars—some three times over. Ready to freak out? Read on to find out how much sweetness is in your cup.
(Photo:Martin Barraud/Getty Images)
SoBe Energize Green Tea, 20 oz.
The health effects of green tea in this SoBe beverage are drowned out by the whopping 51 grams of sugar in the bottle.
(Photo:Pena2/Creative Commons via Flickr)
Starbucks White Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream, 20 oz. (Venti)
When it comes to sugar, you’d be better off eating two chocolate bars than sipping this rich concoction. It contains a jaw-dropping 76 grams of sugar—that’s 18 teaspoons in your cup!
(Photo: Courtesy of Starbucks.com)
McDonald’s Triple Thick Chocolate Shake, 32 oz. (Large)
Regular dessert offerings aren’t exactly health food at McDonald’s, but this limited-time menu item was outrageous: Each large shake contained 168 grams of sugar. That’s 40 sugar cubes, and more than six chocolate bars’ worth of sugar. Stomach-ache city.
Forget the caffeine and taurine—you’ll get a massive jolt from the sugar alone in this energy drink. Packing 62 grams of sugar into each can, this beverage contains a “not recommended for children or pregnant women” disclaimer for multiple reasons.
(Photo:Theimpulsivebuy/Creative Commons Via Flickr)
Vitamin Water, XXX Acai Blueberry Pomegranate, 20 oz.
Vitamin Water carries the dubious distinction of sporting one of the most misleading brand names of all time. Though drink names like “Rescue” and “Defense” sound healthy and restorative, this “water” is actually heavily sweetened. The XXX flavor alone contains 32 grams of sugar in one bottle.
(Photo: saxarocks/Creative Commons Via Flickr)
Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream, 20 oz. (Venti)
A Christmas tree’s worth of candy canes would likely contain less sugar than a Venti cup of this uber-sweet drink. Think we’re kidding? Try 94 grams of sugar on for size.
(Photo:Berto Garcia/Creative Commons via Flickr)
Minute Maid Lemonade, 20 oz.
Sure, tart lemons need a little sugar to make them palatable, but 67.5 grams in one bottle seems excessive. That’s 16 sugar cubes!
(Photo: kittenb_3919/Creative Commons Via Flickr)
Cold Stone Peanut Butter & Chocolate Shake, 24 oz. (Gotta Have It)
Why anyone would opt for a shake at Coldstone is beyond reason—after all, straws take the fun out of mixed-in toppings. But liquifiying ice cream also masks its volume, and the 24 ounces of this popular shake contains an oh-my-gosh-are-you-serious 140 grams of sugar. (It’s also 1,750 calories, which is equally horrifying.)
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Sweet nothings to kick start your future likely diabetic treatment protocols.
Gurumantra Khalsa is the publisher of Nutrition News. He had to marry the writer to secure a subscription.
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