Reporter: Bryan Seymour

Most of us have it once or twice a day, at least. But the traditional cup of coffee has changed, for the worse. As the varieties and the sizes have grown, so too have our waistlines and chronic illness.Here's Bryan Seymour with a story about coffee that'll have you thinking twice before your next cup.

Most of us have it once or twice a day. But the traditional cup of coffee has changed for the worse. As the varieties and the sizes have grown, so too have our waistlines and chronic illness.We've grown up hearing "you are what you eat". Now it's time to think about what you drink.

Comparison 1

Gloria Jeans Large Iced Chocolate with whipped cream v red rooster quarter chicken with chips

Bryan Seymour: "Well these two here, what would you have for lunch?"

Joanna McMillan Price: "Well this one here (chicken and chips), has fewer kilojoules than this one does. About 650 fewer kilojoules so in fact you would be better off, and you'd feel fuller if you'd feel like you've had a meal than if you've had this (Gloria Jeans Large Iced Chocolate)."

This large Gloria Jeans iced chocolate with whipped cream has more energy, triple the saturated fat and eight times the sugar of this Red Rooster chicken and chips.

We invited nutritionist Joanna McMillan Price to evaluate four popular drinks we find in coffee stores around the country and how they differ in energy, fat and sugar with these foods.

Bryan Seymour: "They reckon in the UK they can prevent 15,000 cancers per year in overweight people if they cut these drinks out of their diet. Which would mean here on a population base that would be talking about 5,000 cancers, 5,000 fewer cancers is that?"

Joanna McMillan Price: "Absolutely, that is phenomenal, that is absolutely phenomenal, that is what the Australian cancer council estimates as 1 in 3 cancer deaths could be preventable by these changes and drinks are a huge part of the problem."

The UK-based World Cancer Research Fund tells us water is the best drink, but tea and skim milk coffee are fine; avoid adding cream or sugar and no more than four cups a day.

Comparison 2

Hudsons coffee Vienna (small) v slices of dominos supreme, thin n' cripsy crust pizza

Bryan Seymour: "This is how astonishing it can get. We compared this Dominos supreme pizza, thin and crusty, with this Hudson's Coffee, it is a small Vienna, now you think there would be no comparison between having this, and two supreme pieces of Dominos pizza - how surprised are you to learn there is twice the fat in this coffee overall, than there is in those two slices of pizza and more than three times the saturated fat?"

Joanna McMillan Price: "Which is phenomenal isn't it, I think most people realise if I have pizza I am having something that is fairly fatty I probably don't want to have too much of it but they don't think about it with drinks, now it is important to point out that it is not the coffee, often it is what is going into that coffee."

"There is a beautiful old saying - a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips that is very much the case with some of these coffees that are really milkshakes," said fitness trainer John Fell. He sees many health kicks fall off the rails because people think they're cutting down by having a drink.

"I think they taste good and they make people feel good when they drink them so to me that is why all companies are just out to make a profit and get you to come back and use their product or service from a coffee point of view really… I think they are more like milkshakes than coffees, a lot of these big tall ones with lots of cream in them," Fell said.

Comparison 3

Tall Starbucks signature hot chocolate v McDonald's double quarter pounder

It's no surprise there's 25g of saturated fat in this McDonalds Double Quarter Pounder. The stunning thing is in this Starbucks Signature hot chocolate you'll find there's 15g of saturated fat.

"Avoid cream, avoid the sugar syrup shots, you can get about eight teaspoonfuls of sugar in one single syrup shot, it is the colourings and flavourings and whatever else there is in there so that is what you skip, you go for more of a traditional Italian style coffee, ask for skim milk, and you have something that has very few calories," said McMillan Price.

You have the legal right to know what is in the food you buy and most takeaways provide it up front. But Gloria Jeans's coffee doesn't - you have to ask for it or perhaps write in for it. We emailed a request their head office for their nutrition information...Bryan Seymour: "There it is, it took a few hours, but they sent us 88 pages, this is there nutritional information that you can request from head office."

Joanna McMillan Price: "The public can get it, but my concern is, you are a reporter that has clearly researched to get this information, what member of the public is going to phone head office and ask to be sent just to find out how many calories are in their drink."

Comparison 4

Large Gloria Jeans Mocha Chiller Cocoa Loco v 11.7 x Krispy Kreme original glazed donuts

"That is the same amount of sugar we have got in almost a dozen of these donuts," McMillan Price said.

Bryan Seymour: "That brings me to the pyramid of donuts, the fabled pyramid of donuts, which you would think without question would blow this away in terms of sugar content."

Joanna McMillan Price: "Well not, in terms of sugar content, actually, we have a match here, we have exactly the same sugar content, but that doesn't mean go for eating twelve donuts… you are getting a huge amount of sugar, 129grams of sugar in this one drink, that is absolutely enormous and it is far more than anybody eats."

"So if you're going to drink a large Gloria Jeans Chiller Cocoa Loco, you are going to need to swim as fast as you can for an hour to burn that off," Fell said.Bryan Seymour: "This is just extraordinary; this is evil in a cup isn't it? From a nutritionist point of view, I mean this is 129 grams of sugar, 2,670 kilojoules of energy right there."

Joanna McMillan Price: "It astonishes me how much sugar, I had no idea actually there was that much sugar in this but this is the pitfall for people… you're a woman and you drink that that is a third of your total calorie intake for the day,"

Worse still, we absorb the energy in liquids more efficiently yet they often leave us feeling as hungry as a ravenous animal.

Bryan Seymour: Then they are not designed for humans are they?"

Joanna McMillan Price: "No, they we are not designed to have such a concentrated liquid form of calories."

Story Links and Information:


Comparison 1

1x Gloria Jeans Large Iced Chocolate with Whipped Cream - 3260kj / 780cal (Energy) 37.1g (Fat, 20.2g Saturated fat) 87.7g (Sugar)

1x Red Rooster Quarter Chicken with Chips - 2592kj / 620cal (Energy) 23.2g (Fat, 7.6g Saturated fat) 10.8g (Sugar)

Comparison 2

1 x Hudsons Coffee Vienna (Small) - 1120kj / 268cal (Energy) 25.8g (Fat, 25.8g Saturated fat!) 8.1g (Sugar)

2 x Slices of Dominos Supreme, Thin n' Crispy Crust Pizza - 1342kj / 320cal (Energy) 12.8g (Fat, 7g Saturated fat) 3.2g (Sugar)

Comparison 3

1x Tall Starbucks Signature hot chocolate - 1810kj / 433cal (Energy) 26.1g (Fat, 15.7g Saturated fat) 36g (Sugar)

1x McDonalds Double Quarter Pounder - 3560kj / 852cal (Energy) 52.2g (Fat, 25.1g Saturated fat) 7.4g (Sugar)

Comparison 4

1 x Large Gloria Jeans Mocha Chiller Cocoa Loco - 2670kj / 638cal (Energy) 8.8g (Fat, 5.1 Saturate fat) 129g (Sugar)

11.7 x Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donuts - 954kj / 228cal (Energy) 11g (Sugar) 13g (Fat, 7 Saturated fat)

Dr Joanna McMillan Price website:

For further information:

World Cancer Research Fund - Coffee Drinks study:

Statement from Gloria Jeans Coffee:

21 October 2009


Our view is always to provide our guests with choice as we understand people have different needs and preferences.

So we offer a variety of drinks including fruit chillers, a range of herbal and straight teas, and for guests looking for a special treat we have our Iced Chocolates and Mocha Chillers. Our beverages are handcrafted and can be tailored to suit the tastes of our guests. For those looking for a lower fat/low kJ

option our coffees can be customised with skim milk, soy milk, no whipped cream and no added sugar.

We believe in the importance of providing nutritional information to our guests so they can make informed decisions about what they consume.

That is why we are open and transparent in sharing this information. Anyone can access nutritional information for any of our drinks on request at our coffee houses or through our Guest Relations department (Tel: 1800 689


We also provide this information to guides such as Weight Watches and are in the process of looking at providing this information on our website.

To provide our guests with the most current information we offer our nutritional guide by request and send out regular updates to our franchise partners through our intranet and communication bulletins.

We are actively working towards what more we can do on this issue. It's a journey not a destination and we would encourage our guests to contact us with their feedback on how we can improve. Contact details can be found on our website (