July 27, 2009

High-Calorie Iced Coffees Could Add Cancer Risk

Many iced coffee drinks being marketed at chain restaurants could contain a large chunk of a woman's recommended daily calorie intake, according to a new report.

The World Cancer Research Fund reported on Monday that most iced coffee drinks sold on the high street contain over 200 calories, while many contain more than 450 calories.

Additionally, the WCRF found that the "venti"-sized Dark Berry Mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks contained 561 calories, which is more than one-fourth of a woman's recommended calorie intake for a single day.

The London-based WCRF said its report is intended to highlight the possible added cancer risk being posed by high-calorie coffee drinks due to weight gain.

"Scientists now say that, after not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight is the most important thing you can do to help prevent cancer," the WCRF said in a statement.

"This is why WCRF recommends avoiding sugary and high calorie drinks."

"The fact that there is an iced coffee on the market with over a quarter of a woman's daily calorie allowance is alarming," said Dr Rachel Thompson, Science Program Manager for WCRF. "This is the amount of calories you might expect to have in an evening meal, not in a drink."

"Having these type of drinks as an occasional treat is unlikely to do you any harm. But if you are having them regularly then they will increase the chances of you becoming overweight, which in turn increases your risk of developing cancer, as well as other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes," she added.

Without whipped cream, the venti Starbucks treat contains 457 calories. The smallest version of the drink contains 288 calories without whipped cream.

According to BBC Health, an estimated 19,000 cancers per year are preventable by losing excess weight.

A Starbucks spokesperson told the BBC that the Dark Berry Mocha Frappuccino is only one "of over 87,000 beverage variations" it offers to customers.

Researchers found that a Double Chocolate Frappe and a Mocha Frappe Latte with semi skimmed milk at Caff© Nero contains 483 calories. Additionally, the skimmed milk option contains 452 calories, and a Frappe Latte with semi skimmed milk contains 307 calories.

"As a general rule, if you want to have a coffee, go for an unsweetened version with skimmed or semi skimmed milk as this is likely to contain fewer calories," said Dr Thompson. "It is also worth steering clear of ones that contain lots of cream or sugary fruit syrups as these tend to be higher in calories."


Image Courtesy Starbucks


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