Say it ain’t so. The milkshakes, I mean coffee, we order from Starbucks, McDonald’s and KFC all have ridiculous amounts of sugar in them. Not sure what we expected, but thanks for the heads up Action on Sugar, a UK activist group.

I did learn that KFC sells coffee. That’s either awesome or disturbing.

The report from the group accused the chains of serving hot drinks with as much sugar as a can of cola. Actually, the worst offenders all contained more sugar than a can of Mountain Dew. Now, I love my orange juice, err Mountain Dew in the morning, but I never claim it’s healthy.

Starbucks Lovin’ Sugar

Who is the worst offender? My loveable Starbucks – you guys have an awesome cheese danish. The Venti Grape with Chai, Orange, and Cinnamon Hot Mulled Fruit hits number one with 25 teaspoons of sugar. Hmmm, no shit comes to mind. Who thinks they are ordering that, and it doesn’t come with Wilford Brimley? At least, they deliver diabetes supplies to the house.

For those of us that suddenly fall in love with the metric system when counting carbs, a teaspoon works out to 4 grams of sugar.

Breaking it down by grams, the drink would top out at nearly 100 grams of sugar. Want a comparison? A liter of Coke has 108 grams of sugar. And without the line.

Number of teaspoons of sugar in Starbucks drinks

Starbucks for its part is pushing back in the report and promising to reduce the amount of sugar.

“Earlier this year we committed to reduce added sugar in our indulgent drinks by 25 percent by the end of 2020.

“We also offer a wide variety of lighter options, sugar-free syrups, and natural sugar-free sweetener, and we display all nutritional information in-store and online.”

That is the politest way of saying it’s not their fault people think adding bs to coffee is somehow good for their overall health.

Starbucks has a point. If you are ordering the #3 offender on the list, the White Chocolate Mocha, did you think that wasn’t loaded with sugar? It comes in at 18 teaspoons, or your garden variety 20-ounce Mountain Dew.

Act for Sugar’s Answer

The group points to the charts and blame the availability of sugary drinks for the rise in obesity and diabetes. The group isn’t wrong; the link is indisputable.

Here is where they will lose the support. Their answer is to place a sugar tax on food in the UK and an independent agency to oversee the reduction in sugar and fat in processed foods and drinks.

The immediate knee-jerk reaction is hell no on taxes. People respond to the threat of new taxes viscerally. It’s not only the United States where voters snap back angrily. No one likes a nanny state.

In a utopian world, sure, legislate our way to health. What’s the number one factor that kills any utopian ideal? People gonna be people. Say I can’t have a Starbucks milkshake, and guess what happens? I want the milkshake. And I don’t even like grape flavored drinks.

Instead of pushing people to pay up and adversely impacting the already decimated middle class, keep the focus on education. Borrow from the Internet. People hate clickbait, but they click the shit out of it.

Take the idea of Sugar Stacks and present it better. More style. The substance is on the side of health advocates. Want the people? Don’t utter the words ‘sugar tax.’

**The study looked at 131 hot drinks sold in U.K. high street outlets.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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