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You might be surprised when you realize the amount of sugar your barista is dumping into that cup of joe
Although a judge overruled the ban on large, sugary beverages that was supposed to go into effect in New York City today, the initiative still serves as a good wake-up call about just how much sugar youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re chugging each morning.
The regulation applies to any food service establishment regulated by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, including restaurants, food carts, delis, movie theaters, and stadiums. To prepare its customers, DunkinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Donuts has been passing out fliers explaining new policy changes designed to help the chain comply with the initiative.
If the proposed regulation had gone into effect this morning as planned, DunkinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ customers would have had to add their own sugar and Ã¢â‚¬Å“flavor swirlsÃ¢â‚¬Â to large and extra-large hot drinks, as well as medium and large iced drinks. Translation: While you may not realize it, those coffee beverages typically come loaded with sugarÃ¢â‚¬”sometimes as much as 61 grams per drink, which puts them into the category of Ã¢â‚¬Å“sugary beverages with more than 25 calories per eight ouncesÃ¢â‚¬Â (anything that falls into that group would be sold in portions of 16 ounces or less, according to the proposal). DunkinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ is by no means the only coffee shop guilty of overdoing it with the sweet stuff, though. A grande iced coffee at Starbucks contains 20 grams of sugar, a medium hot latte at Caribou Coffee contains 19 grams of sugar, and a medium premium roast iced coffee at McDonaldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s has 30 grams of sugar.
The NYC DHMH estimates that if people cut back their sugary drink intake to one 16-ounce beverage every two weeks, the cityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s population would collectively lose 2.3 million pounds over the course of a year.
Some experts doubt the ban will work since people can get around the restrictions fairly easilyÃ¢â‚¬”they could just buy two 16-ounce sugary drinks, for example, says Brian Wansink, PhD, and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University.
But others say that having to add sweetener to your own coffee will at least make consumers more aware of their sugar intake. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really the first step to reduce sugar consumption,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Lu Qi, MD, PhD, and assistant professor of genetic and nutritional epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.
TELL US: Do you have a sugary coffee habit? Does the proposed ban make you rethink your java routine? Share your thoughts in the comments below.