(CNN/WJZ) — We hate to ruin your festive cheer, but it turns out that ordering a pint of caramel-flavored hot chocolate topped with whipped cream may not actually be that good for you.
That’s the fairly unsurprising finding of a British survey that warns of the high sugar content of festive hot drinks offered by chains, including Starbucks.
It found that Starbucks’ venti-sized Signature Caramel Hot Chocolate with whipped cream and oat milk contains the equivalent of 23 teaspoons of sugar, and 758 calories. Venti cups are 20 ounces (590 ml).
The same chain’s gingerbread venti-sized latte was also found to contain 14 teaspoons of sugar and 523 calories per portion.
Maryland health officials have been trying to combat diabetes after the state was listed among those with the highest diabetes prevalence.
According to the CDC, Maryland is consistently one of 25 states with the highest diabetes prevalence rates, while nearly 500,000 adults have diabetes and nearly 1.6 million have prediabetes.
Sugary drinks can add to the negative symptoms of prediabetic or diabetic health issues.
“Coffee shops and cafes need to take much greater steps to reduce the levels of sugar and portion sizes, promote lower sugar alternatives and stop pushing indulgent extras at the till,” Holly Gabriel, a nutritionist at Action on Sugar, said in a statement.
“The findings are deeply concerning, especially given that many children also consume these festive sugary drinks which are not only bad for their overall health but also their dental health,” added Dr Saul Konviser of the Dental Wellness Trust charity.
CNN has contacted Starbucks for comment. On its website, the company notes that a proportion of the sugar contained in its drinks comes from lactose, a naturally-occurring part of the milk they contain.
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