Just when you might have thought obesity rates in Britain couldn’t get much worse… along come these Christmas treats.
And as if it wasn’t already easy enough to pile on the pounds at this time of year, retailers are selling super-sized Christmas chocolates that contain the equivalent of over 500 teaspoons of sugar.
Weighing around 10lb, you can buy a giant Toblerone 12 times the size of the original bars at 2ft 7.5in long.
Retailers are selling super-sized Christmas chocolates that contain the equivalent of over 500 teaspoons of sugar
It contains 2.8lbs (1.3kg) of fat, 6lbs (2.7kg) of sugar and has 24,075 Kcal and costs £108.
John Lewis has launched a two-foot high ‘House of Dorchester Giant Gold Santa’, priced at £100 and 4.5kg in weight.
Weighing more than an average new-born baby, it contains 2,245.5g of sugar, or the equivalent of 561.3 teaspoons of sugar.
And with over 25,000 calories, it equals a man’s total food intake for ten days.
Meanwhile, British chocolate maker Montezuma’s offers a £49.99 giant chocolate Christmas tree that weighs around 10lb, comprising of 5,730 calories and 457.6g of sugar.
Chocolatiers Hotel Chocolat, Ferrero Rocher and Lindt have also decided to follow the oversized trend too.
Toblerone, Lindt and Cadbury are among the chocolatiers offering huge versions of favourite treats containing up to 25,000 calories
Health experts warn of the damaging effects that ‘over-indulging’ on large chocolate products can have on people’s bodies and teeth.
In October NHS England boss Simon Stevens announced he wanted to end the ‘super-size snack culture’ with a 250-calorie limit on chocolate bars sold in hospital canteens, vending machines and shops to help fight obesity.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: ‘Christmas is a time to treat ourselves and each other, but the fact remains we consume too much sugar the whole year round.
‘Too many children suffer the consequences of tooth decay or being overweight as a result.
‘It is also an important time for industry sales, but as they know we’ve set targets for sugar reduction and Christmas sales of sugary products still count.’
Jenny Rosborough, of campaign group Action on Sugar, said: ‘Products like the giant chocolate Santa from John Lewis contain a whopping 560 teaspoons of sugar.
‘Surely manufacturers need to be more responsible with their product formulation.’
John Lewis has launched a two-foot high ‘House of Dorchester Giant Gold Santa’, priced at £100 and 4.5kg in weight. Weighing more than an average new-born baby, it contains 2,245.5g of sugar, or the equivalent of 561.3 teaspoons of sugar
Action on Sugar says the maximum recommended sugar consumption is 5 per cent of your daily energy intake – 30g, or seven teaspoons, for adults.
And although the super-sized Christmas chocolates are not designed to be consumed in one sitting, researchers at the University of Surrey discovered just 12 weeks of a high-sugar diet increases the amount of fat stored in the liver.
Fiona Hunter, an independent nutritionist from London, said: ‘Obviously these products are meant for sharing but for some people that doesn’t happen – and even if it is shared there is no guidance on what a reasonable serving should be so it’s easy to over-eat.
British chocolate maker Montezuma’s offers a £49.99 giant chocolate Christmas tree that weighs around 10lb, comprising of 5,730 calories and 457.6g of sugar
‘And this all happens at a time of the year when most of us consuming lots of extra calories in the form of festive treats – which can all seem fairly modest at the time but when you add them all up can easily add up to several hundred calories.
‘The other problem with Christmas chocolates and things like tree decorations is that they are always on display – and studies show that people are much more likely to indulge, even when they are not feeling hungry if they see something tasty and tempting.
‘So my advice would be to hide chocolates and other Xmas treats away in a cupboard so you can’t see them.’
Miss Hunter, who was nutrition editor of Good Housekeeping Magazine, added: ‘The over-eating and drinking that goes on during the festive period inevitably leads to weight gain for many people, which means that many people resort to crash or faddy diets in the New Year.
‘The problem is that faddy diets are often nutritionally imbalanced and short on some key nutrients and this can have a negative effect on your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to colds, flu and other infections’.
The British Dental Association’s scientific adviser, Professor Damien Walmsley, warned that over-indulging on chocolate is not good for your teeth.
He said: ‘If you are constantly snacking on chocolate, over time the enamel is weakened and destroyed causing a cavity.’
Hotel Chocolat have started selling a huge 450g Christmas wreath with the equivalent of 49 tablespoons of sugar
It is best to enjoy chocolate as an occasional treat and avoid damage to teeth by having it straight after a meal, he recommended.
Angus Thirlwell, chief executive and co-founder of Hotel Chocolat said: ‘Our Rather Large Cracker has been in our Christmas range for the past 12 years and is designed to share with family and friends – it’s packed with 40 individually wrapped chocolates and 12 paper hats.
‘We’ve also labelled the allergens on each chocolate to make it easier to share amongst a big group.
‘Our Festive Wreaths are designed to be cut into 10 pieces (hence the hole in the centre), and we’ve got 4 in the range, including a vegan-friendly option (Colombian 75 per cent dark chocolate).
‘Both make great centrepieces at Christmas and make sure parties go with a bang.’