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Just one glass of pina colada contains as much sugar as eight Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts or six full-size Reese’s peanut butter cupcakes, health statistics reveal while a margarita contains as many calories as two cans of coke.
DailyMail.com analyzed the calorie and sugar content of more than 20 popular cocktails and summer drinks on dietitian website Nutritionix — which claims to be the largest nutrition database globally — and official sources.
It showed that a pina colada is the most calorific and sugar-laden cocktail available by far, with about 650 calories — equivalent to a Big Mac — and 84 grams of sugar in a single glass.
But a Bud Light Lime-A-Rita — a margarita plus lime-flavored beer — came second with almost twice as many calories as a 190-calorie glazed doughnut, while a typical margarita came third with calories equivalent to two 139-calorie coke cans.
Dr Leah Kaufman, a dietitian at NYU Langone, told DailyMail.com that cocktails contained so many calories because of the sugary syrups used to make them.
Alcohol content in the drinks also bumped up the calorie counts, she warned, but that even drinking mocktail versions would not drastically reduce the total.
A pina colada contains as much sugar as eight glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts, while a margarita contains as many calories as two cans of coke
Nutritionix’s database is based on information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which keeps a tab on the nutrition labels of foods and drinks sold in the country.
It also includes data from manufacturers and restaurants on how many calories, and how much sugar and other substances a product contains.
Their data showed that a pina coladas calorie count was followed by Lime-A-Rita with 330 calories in one can, and about 30 grams of sugar. In the classic margarita, there were up to 300 calories as well as 19 grams of sugar.
A frozen strawberry daiquiri was the fourth most calorific drink included in the analysis, which also had about 300 calories per glass and a higher 27 grams of sugar.
On the other end of the scale, were White Claw seltzer’s with each flavor — including Blackberry, Blood Orange and Strawberry — containing about 100 calories and two grams of sugar.
Pimms is second from the bottom with about 141 calories per glass and 15 grams of sugar, followed by a Bud Light beer at 147 calories a pint with 8.8 grams of sugar.
Other popular drinks on the list included the Long Island Iced Tea (260 calories, 11 grams sugar), which has a calorie equivalent to nearly two cans of coke.
An Aperol Spritz has about 209 calories and 21 grams of sugar — or one-and-a-half cokes — while a Gin and Tonic had around 207 calories and 14 grams of sugar.
Asked why pina coladas and margaritas had such high calorie counts, Dr Kaufman said: ‘It’s just because of the sugar likely. There is agave in there too, but that is straight up sugar.
‘Alcohol, definitely, also contributes and the mixers are also going to have sugar. Pina Colada has coconut and that adds too.
She also said: ‘Although these drinks might be refreshing in the summer, they are really high in sugar.’
Asked how to have a low calorie cocktail, she recommended mixing any clear liquor such as tequila with a seltzer or soda water.
She added it may also be better to squeeze in some fresh fruit in it rather than using fruit juices, which contain plenty of added sugar.
British doctors warn alcohol contains many calories because it is made from natural starch and sugar through a process called fermentation — when yeast breaks down sugars in an absence of oxygen.
It can hold about seven calories per gram, almost as much as a piece of chocolate.
American adults consume about 77 grams of sugar a day, equivalent to six 10-pound bowling balls every year.
But dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human services say women should not consume more than 50 grams of sugar a day, while men should avoid having more than 62.5 grams.
Regularly taking in more sugar than this could damage the heart, says the American Heart Association, because it raises the risk of someone being overweight or obese — a key risk factor for the disease.
It also puts higher strain on the liver, leading to a greater risk of fats accumulating that could also trigger type 2 diabetes.
Harvard University scientists say eating too much sugar could also raise someone’s blood pressure and inflammation in their body.
Mississippi is the fattest place in America, followed by West Virginia and Alabama, figures show
The above map shows the proportion of people that are obese by state. The top rates were in Mississippi, West Virginia and Alabama
Mississippi is the fattest state in America, with two in five adults obese or morbidly obese, a report revealed Tuesday amid mounting warnings over the country’s health.
Telephone surveys of more than 400,000 people nationwide showed the Magnolia state had the highest rates of obesity followed by West Virginia and neighboring Alabama.
At the other end of the scale people in Colorado, Massachusetts and Hawaii were least likely to be obese — with less than a quarter of adults falling into the category.
Experts blamed poor diets, less access to public spaces for exercise and little health insurance coverage in some areas for the obesity crisis — particularly in Mississippi.
The figures are from a report by NiceRx — an online pharmacy — and are based on figures collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the year 2020.
America is the fattest country in the western world with an estimated 40 percent of people — or 138 million — being obese. It is followed by New Zealand (30 percent), Canada (29.4 percent) and Australia (29 percent).
President Joe Biden will reveal his plans for tackling obesity this September, and has already set targets of improving physical activity and reducing diet-related diseases — like type 2 diabetes — nationally.