Nothing says indulgence like a milkshake piled with cream, wafers, sprinkles, marshmallows and literally any other sweet treat you can shake a stick at. But now these so-called ‘freakshakes’ could be banned from restaurants across the UK if anti-sugar campaigners get their way.
We’ve all finished up a bulky meal with a drool-worthy dessert (who hasn’t?!), but the group Action on Sugar is now saying such sweet treats are so bad for our health they should be shunned for good.
In fact, it wants any milkshakes or freakshakes that contain over 300 calories to be removed from menus to prevent regular sugar overloads. Why that may sound like a high figure for a drink, many shakes actually contain over three to four times that amount.
So how many calories are there in these mega shakes?
Toby Carvery’s Unicorn Freakshake tops the list of the most calorific in the country according to reports, containing 1,280 calories, which is equivalent to 39 teaspoons of sugar. The British Heart Foundation‘s exercise calculator shows that the average 25-year-old would have to jog for three hours straight just to burn off that amount of calories.
Similarly, Harvester’s Cookie Monster Freakshake packs in a mighty 1067 calories – that’s nearly half the daily recommended daily intake for an adult.
The Freakshake uprising
We first saw the freakshake arrive in the UK around three years ago and it’s all thanks to social media. A similar Australian dessert was discovered on Instagram, prompting people across the globe to imitate the treat, before it quickly became a staple indulgence on several restaurant menus.
Now you can barely scroll through the ‘gram without seeing a picture-perfect shot of a shake-filled mason jar, topped off with more cream than a dairy farm.
Ban or no ban?
While Action on Sugar is calling for the ban, there’s no word from the government yet on whether it’ll actually be brought in. However, with curbing childhood obesity high on the national agenda, there’s still a chance it could be enforced.
Earlier this year, a sugar tax on calorific soft drinks was introduced, forcing manufacturers to pay a levy on beverages containing 5-8g or more of sugar per 100ml. The hope is that this will force companies to lower the amount of sugar in their drinks or make sugary beverages more expensive, therefore deterring consumers.
With this tax now fully in action, a cull on freakshakes and other calorific drinks could well follow suit.