‘Grotesque’ milkshakes containing as much as 39 teaspoons of sugar should be banned, health campaigners warned yesterday.
The worst offender in a survey was Toby Carvery’s Unicorn Freakshake, which contains 156g of sugar – more than six times the recommended daily limit for children aged seven to ten.
Although sweetened shakes are exempt from the tax on sugary drinks which began in April, ministers warn that they may close this loophole if food firms don’t change unhealthy recipes.
‘Grotesque’ milkshakes containing as much as 39 teaspoons of sugar should be banned, health campaigners warned yesterday
Left, Toby Carvery Unicorn Freakshake, weighing in at 156g of sugar, and right, a Five Guys banana and chocolate milkshake, with 149g
Left, Pizza Hut Salted Caramel Ice Cream Shake, 95.4g of sugar, and right, the Harvester Cookie Monster Freakshake, 95g
Left, Gourmet Burger Kitchen Oreo milkshake, 92.1g, and right, Burger King Oreo shake, 76g
The Freakshake, which includes ice cream, blackcurrant jelly, milk, whipped cream, marshmallows, Skittles and macaroons, weighs in at 1,280 calories.
This is more than four times the 300-calorie limit suggested by Public Health England for such drinks.
PHE wants the food industry to reduce sugar voluntarily by 2022 to combat rising obesity, particularly among children.
But the campaign group Action On Sugar, which published the survey today for National Sugar Awareness Week, insists any shake above 300 calories should be banned now.
This would also put an end to shakes from Five Guys, Pizza Hut, Harvester, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Burger King.
The servings offered by food chains tend to be larger than the shakes sold by supermarkets.
A 400ml Müller Chocolate Flavour Milk Frijj contains 304 calories and 42.8g of sugar – the equivalent of 11 teaspoons.
Campaigners surveyed 140 products from 14 food chains and found all had excessive sugar as defined by the Food Standards Agency traffic light system.
Action On Sugar said: ‘Milkshakes sold across high street restaurants and fast food chains contain grotesque levels of sugar.’ Toby Carvery and Harvester are owned by Mitchells & Butlers. A spokesman said both had joined PHE’s sugar reduction scheme. Other chains did not respond to requests for comment.