High street coffee chains are serving iced drinks laced with up to 16 teaspoons of sugar.
A Starbucks large Strawberry Donut Frappuccino has 66.4 grams of sugar – and 593 calories. The recommended daily sugar intake for adults is 30g.
Costa Coffee’s Salted Caramel Crunch Frostino served with whole milk has 60.8g – though that will be cut to 35g. Cafe Nero’s Espresso and Caramel Frappe Creme has 57.g, while McDonald’s Millionaire’s Iced Frappe is loaded with 42g.
Nutritionist Katharine Jenner, of the Action on Sugar pressure group, said: “These flavoured iced drinks, which are laden with an unbelievable amount of hidden sugar and calories, should be an occasional treat and not an everyday drink.
“It’s shocking to see some contain more sugar than seven actual jam doughnuts.
“Often these drinks are accompanied by a high sugar and fat snack and so it’s not surprising that we have the highest rate of obesity in Europe.
“Coffee shop chains must immediately reduce the amount of sugar in these drinks, improve their labelling and stop selling the extra-large serving sizes.”
The British Dental Association said: “The BDA believes the Government has a clear duty to send the strongest possible signal to the food industry, fast food outlets and coffee house giants, that while added sugar might be helping their sales, it’s hurting their customers.
“These coffee and fast food giants should be weaning us of our addiction to sugar instead of pushing drinks to maximise the dose.”
The chains said the drinks are an occasional treat, sugar levels are reviewed, nutritional information is displayed – and healthier alternatives are on sale.