Dunkin’ Donuts Dilemma


Autumn Dobrowski, Editor

It is common to see the students of Park High School drag their feet up the stairs in the morning with a Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee in hand. However, an alarming amount of sugar and calories lurk beneath this coffee’s sweet facade. In a Twitter survey released by The Beacon, 34 percent of respondents said they drink four or more Dunkin’ Donuts coffee drinks per week, which ends up becoming a significant amount of weekly caloric and sugar intake.

A common order for most teens from Dunkin’ Donuts is an iced coffee. According to the Dunkin’ Donuts website, a large iced coffee with a caramel swirl and cream is about 340 calories with 49 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of fat. A medium is a little less than that at 260 calories, 37 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of fat, but the data for both is concerning when you consider recommended daily sugar and caloric intake for teens. It is recommended by the National Institute of Health that inactive girls aged 14-18 consume only 1800 calories per day. For inactive boys in this age group the recommended amount is 2000-2400 calories per day. This means that one Dunkin’ Donuts large caramel swirl iced coffee with cream accounts for about 18 percent of recommended daily caloric intake for girls and 14-17 percent of recommended daily caloric intake for boys. Multiply the calories by four and it becomes 11 percent of weekly caloric intake for girls and 8-10 percent for boys.

According to the American Heart Association, it is suggested that teens consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. This means that one caramel swirl iced coffee drink with cream, medium or large, exceeds the daily recommended amount of sugar by 12-24 grams of sugar. A medium or large of this order four or more times per week would be about 148-196 grams of sugar. Compared to the recommended amount of 175 grams of sugar per week, 148-196 grams consumed from iced coffee alone can be dangerous.

Per Webmd.com, the short term consumption of excessive amounts of sugar can cause tiredness and fatigue. Long term it can lead to serious health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. In order to prevent these side effects, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that teens get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day to stay healthy.

For more nutrition facts on Dunkin’ Donuts menu items visit https://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dam/dd/pdf/nutrition.pdf