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Revealed: How much sugar is in your weekly shop

We tested some everyday groceries for their sugar content and think you’ll be shocked at what we found.

Eating too much sugar is linked to a range of health issues including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

The NHS recommends that we limit our sugar intake to 30 grammes a day, which is just 6 teaspoons.

The NHS recommends that we limit our sugar intake to 30 grams a day, which is just 6 teaspoons.As part of Staffordshire’s Big Fat Chat, we’ve looked at some common items from the weekly shop and have worked out how many teaspoons of sugar are in each of them. We think you might be surprised at what we’ve found…


How much sugar is in yoghurt

Yoghurt is healthy, right?

This is a big 450-gramme pot of yoghurt. You may not eat all of this in one sitting but if you did then you would be downing 13 teaspoons of sugar.

If you ate half of this pot of yoghurt then you’d still be over your daily recommended amount.

It definitely pays to check the label when it comes to yoghurts.

There are low sugar and sugar-free yoghurts to buy but you can never know for sure how much sugar they contain until you check the label.

Chocolate chip muffin

How much sugar is in a chocolate muffin?This delicious looking chocolate muffin contains 6 teaspoons of sugar, which means that you will have hit your recommended daily intake by eating just this alone.

You will probably know that a muffin like this is bad for you, what is surprising is how this “unhealthy” muffin compares to the “healthy” yoghurt.

Next time your co-workers bring in some tasty cake treats to share, will you be giving these a miss?

Kid’s Smoothie

How much sugar is in a kids smoothie?It may say Innocent on the packaging but this unassuming kid’s smoothie is guilty of containing major amounts of sugar – four teaspoons to be exact.

Whilst this comes in below the recommended amount of sugar an adult should have each day, this product actually contains more than the daily recommended amount for a 4-6-year-old (4 teaspoons).

Better to go for unsweetened fruit juice which you can dilute for children to further reduce the amount of sugar.


How much sugar is in cereal?

The recommended portion size for this bowl of Frosties contains 2 teaspoons of sugar. This means that by eating a bowl of Frosties you’ll start the day consuming one-third of your daily intake but compared to some other items on this list that’s not too bad.

The problem, however, is that a 30-gramme portion is tiny. Having filled a modest sized bowl to the brim (like everyone does) we worked out that an 80-gramme portion has 6 teaspoons of sugar. This means that your bowl of cereal could contain your daily sugar intake and you’ll be over the limit before your day has even begun.

Not all cereals contain this much sugar, so it’s always worth checking the label. The problem is that most of the products aimed at kids do contain a lot.

Energy Drink

How much sugar is in an energy drink?

Energy drinks are becoming increasingly popular, particularly amongst kids.

Aside from the caffeine, this can of Monster contains a stonking 11 teaspoons of sugar to give you a sugar rush along with your caffeine high.

These drinks represent some of the most addictive products you can buy legally. Keep out of reach of children.


How much sugar is in sweets?Whether it’s because you’re at the cinema, on a long car journey or just enjoying a weekly treat, almost everyone has sat down and gorged themselves on a whole packet of sweets at some point in their life.

This 215-gramme packet of Haribo Tangfastics contains a jaw-dropping 22 teaspoons of sugar. Nearly four times an adult’s recommended amount of sugar for a day.

Interestingly, if you have the recommended portion size (six sweets) then that works out as 3 teaspoons of sugar; half of your recommended daily intake. But as we all know, sweets are addictive, so good luck limiting yourself to a handful.

Join the Big Fat Chat

  • Are you shocked by anything here, or do you know all this already? We’ll certainly be limiting the Haribo’s we’re eating going forward.
  • Do you think food manufacturers have a responsibility to reduce the amount of sugar in the food they produce? Or is it up to the choices we make and our will-power?

We’d love to hear your views in the comment section below.

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More in Big Fat Chat

Staffordshire’s Big Fat Chat is a public debate being run by Staffordshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board. It’s about hearing your opinions on how we should tackle obesity in Staffordshire.

We’ll use your views, alongside other research and evidence, to agree a joint plan to tackle obesity across the county.

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