There’s HOW Much Sugar in That Coffee?

Although a judge overruled the ban on large, sugary beverages that was supposed to go into effect in New York City today, the initiative still serves as a good wake-up call about just how much sugar you’re chugging each morning.

The regulation applies to any food service establishment regulated by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, including restaurants, food carts, delis, movie theaters, and stadiums. To prepare its customers, Dunkin’ Donuts has been passing out fliers explaining new policy changes designed to help the chain comply with the initiative.

If the proposed regulation had gone into effect this morning as planned, Dunkin’ customers would have had to add their own sugar and “flavor swirls” to large and extra-large hot drinks, as well as medium and large iced drinks. Translation: While you may not realize it, those coffee beverages typically come loaded with sugar—sometimes as much as 61 grams per drink, which puts them into the category of “sugary beverages with more than 25 calories per eight ounces” (anything that falls into that group would be sold in portions of 16 ounces or less, according to the proposal). Dunkin’ is by no means the only coffee shop guilty of overdoing it with the sweet stuff, though. A grande iced coffee at Starbucks contains 20 grams of sugar, a medium hot latte at Caribou Coffee contains 19 grams of sugar, and a medium premium roast iced coffee at McDonald’s has 30 grams of sugar.

The NYC DHMH estimates that if people cut back their sugary drink intake to one 16-ounce beverage every two weeks, the city’s population would collectively lose 2.3 million pounds over the course of a year.

Some experts doubt the ban will work since people can get around the restrictions fairly easily—they could just buy two 16-ounce sugary drinks, for example, says Brian Wansink, PhD, and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University.

But others say that having to add sweetener to your own coffee will at least make consumers more aware of their sugar intake. “It’s really the first step to reduce sugar consumption,” says Lu Qi, MD, PhD, and assistant professor of genetic and nutritional epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

TELL US: Do you have a sugary coffee habit? Does the proposed ban make you rethink your java routine? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

More from Women’s Health:
How Caffeine Affects Your Body
The Perks of Coffee Drinks
Curb Your Sweet Tooth

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Womanly Woes? There’s an App For That

Between running to work, the gym, happy hour, and more, your period is probably the last thing on your mind. Luckily, a new app will help you remember when it’s time to change your tampon. (Forgetting won’t just set you up for a mess—it can cause an overgrowth of bacteria that may lead to the potentially lethal infection toxic shock syndrome.) Just plug in your period start date and the number of days it typically lasts, and Tampon Minder sends out regular alerts reminding you when it’s time to remove or replace it ($ 1.99 on Android and iOS).

Tampon Minder isn’t the only app that makes it easier to deal with lady-part issues. Here are some others worth downloading:

Fertility Friend Mobile
Hoping to sport a bump soon? This app can help make it happen. It charts your monthly cycle via color-coded, easy-to-read graphs that project the days of your fertility window based on details you punch in about your period, body temperature, and cervical condition. It’s also packed with lots of useful info about conception and pregnancy that you’ll want to check out.
Free on Android and iOS

Period Tracker
Lots of apps predict your period’s monthly due date. But Period Tracker doesn’t base its projections on the standard, 28-day calendar—since so few women’s bodies actually adhere to it. Instead, it calculates the average length of your last three cycles, so it can more accurately predict the date your flow is going to show up. That way you’ll know when to stash tampons in your purse so you won’t be caught off guard.
Free on Android and iOS

Skipping even one pill can put you in line for a birth control fail. Prevent that by downloading this easy app. Just select the type of oral contraceptive you’re on, and an alert goes out letting you know it’s time to pop one. Once you do, another pill “disappears” from a graphic of a pill pack. If you’re on a weekly birth control method such as the patch or ring, you can use this app to track that as well.
Free on iOS

Virtual Nurse – Birth Control
Ever wished you could have a birth control expert on call to get her take on a puzzling contraception-related situation? This app, developed by Harvard Medical School, is like having your own RN in your pocket. Ask a question, and voice-activated Nurse Alice will respond with follow-up inquiries to help solve your BC issue.
Free on Android

photo: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

More from Women’s Health:
Got PMS? Eat More Iron
What to Expect at the Gyno
Is PMS a Myth?


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