The Lighter Side of Life with Kate Mason: Much more than a storm in a sugary coffee cup

Whether it's your morning caffeine fix on the platform of the train station or refuelling during a lengthy shopping trip the takeaway coffee has become a staple of everyday life for people on the go.

Thursday, 25th February 2016, 2:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th February 2016, 2:05 pm
Photo of sugar in coffee. We are a country hooked on sugar. PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

Waiting in line at Starbucks or Costa for your mocha, choca frappacino concoction with extra shot and non fat foam is no longer considered a treat but part of everyday life.

So imagine my horror when news broke that my innocent cup of takeaway coffee was covertly laden with more than THREE times the recommended daily sugar intake.

The shocking statistics revealed some of the drinks were in fact harbouring 25 teaspoons of sugar.

Turns out I may as well have been waiting in line for a daily serving of pick and mix or chowing down on seven chocolate biscuits.

I’m happy to fall off the healthy eating wagon if the reward is some giant cream bun or chocolate bar, at least you know where you stand with that - you commit the crime and you do the time at the gym.

But to be guzzling down unhealthy amounts of sugar on an almost daily basis without even knowing is deception of the highest order.

I could understand it if it was the syrup laden, caramel drizzled drinks with half a can of whipped cream on top, but some of the drinks with the highest sugar content are masquerading as vaguely health choices.

Take the large serving of a Hot Mulled Fruit drink from Starbucks, for instance, which comes with chai, orange and cinnamon, and has 99g of sugar - the equivalent of 25 teaspoons.

Before this revelation I would have been quite smug with myself for ordering this mulled drink 
option that conjures up images of a healthy herbal tea with no syrup or cream in sight but turns out it’s a real tooth rotter of a choice.

In fact Action for Sugar, which conducted a survey of the UK’s high street coffee shops, found that a whopping 98 percent of hot flavoured drinks on sale would receive a warning sticker for excessive levels of sugar per serving, if sold pre-packaged.

Some of my favourite coffee shops – Starbucks, Costa and Caffè Nero have been accused of fuelling a national obesity crisis on the back of the survey.

I know we read every day about what we should or shouldn’t be eating and it’s often hard to keep up.

But I think this is certainly more than a storm in a teacup, or should I say sugar laden coffee cup.

Looks like it’s back to instant coffee for me.