A new research from the Cancer Council NSW has found that a person can exceed the entire daily sugar and saturated fat limits in a single coffee break. The coffee break is being blamed for increasing obesity rates. A single drink contains half the energy intake allowed for a whole day.
The study looked at 564 menu items sold at Gloria Jeans, The Coffee Club, McCafé, Muffin Break and Michel's Patisserie.
The energy, saturated fat and sugar content of beverages and snacks and compared to the average daily allowance recommended by health authorities.
The Coffee Club's iced chocolate was found to contain 40 percent of a day's energy requirement, 163 percent of the daily fat requirement and 64 percent of the daily sugar requirement.
McDonald's Frappe Caramel Crush contained 37 percent of the required daily energy intake and 113 percent of a days recommended sugar intake.
Muffin Break's iced chocolate contained 124 percent of the daily fat intake, 59 percent of the daily sugar intake and 32 percent of the daily energy intake.
More than half the cold drinks such as iced coffees and chocolate drinks had more than half of the sugar allowance in one serving. McCafé's Coffee Kick Frappe contained 19 teaspoons of sugar, which is 86 percent of daily limit.
Cancer Council researcher Clare Hughes, said, "People are most likely not counting these on-the-go drinks and snacks with high energy, fat and sugar as a meal or as part of their daily allowance."
"Many Australians rely on a take away coffee for their morning kick start but people might be unaware of just how much sugar, saturated fat and kilojoules they are consuming each day if they're ordering anything more than the standard flat white, cappuccino or latte," she said.
Many snacks that are considered healthy reviewed in the study were not so healthy, said Hughes.
Cancer Council NSW directed café chains to provide smaller, healthier portion sizes across their drinks and snack ranges so they are falling in line with the guidelines of a discretionary treat (600kJ) for an adult.
"If we can stabilize or decrease obesity levels in Australia, half a million lives could be saved by 2050. That would mean fewer cases of obesity related cancers, such as bowel, endometrial and post-menopausal breast cancer; as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes," said Hughes.