A drink to work off

By Celeste Gorrell Anstiss

Starbucks' Iced Cranberry white chocolate Mocha has more calories than a Quarter Pounder.
Photo / Janna Dixon
Starbucks' Iced Cranberry white chocolate Mocha has more calories than a Quarter Pounder. Photo / Janna Dixon

Starbucks is celebrating Christmas with a range of sugar-filled drinks, served with as much fat as a Quarter Pounder burger and more calories than a hearty serve of spaghetti bolognaise.

The range includes hot and cold drinks such as the Toffee Nut Latte and Dark Cherry Mocha, all of which knock a significant dent in the recommended maximum daily intake of 2500 calories or 8700kj.

The worst offender is the large iced cranberry white-choc mocha, weighing in at 590 calories - 2478 kj. It has 76g of sugar and five teaspoons of fat.

If this milky take on Christmas flavours is irresistible, the gingerbread latte poses the least danger with 155 calories, 0.2g fat and 27g sugar, but only if you ask for the smallest size and non-fat milk.

Healthy Food Guide nutritionist Claire Turnbull says the biggest mistake people make is having these drinks as a snack on top of regular meals. The additional sugar and fat results in weight gain, she says.

"People underestimate liquid calories. It's not as if they would be having it instead of lunch," she says. An average-sized woman would have to jog for 45 minutes to burn off the 590-calorie drink.

A Starbucks media manager says the drinks are a "special treat" that can be enjoyed in smaller sizes.

- Herald on Sunday

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