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Health

Ban ‘Freakshakes,’ Says Anti-Sugar Campaign Group

No joy allowed in 2018.

by Ruby Lott-Lavigna
13 November 2018, 4:19pm

Photo via Adobe Stock.

Sorry, people of 2018. We know things have been pretty shitty recently, what with Brexit sending us headfirst into a foggy world of food shortages and austerity; the fact that modern American politics has become terrifyingly Orwellian; and that human behaviour has wiped out 60 percent (on average) of animal populations. Things aren’t going great, OK?

Well, unfortunately, more bad news: joy is also banned in 2018. All those small vices you hold dear, those habits that aren’t great for you but provide a moment of brief respite from the fact that you’ll probably get nuked by North Korea before you buy a house or even learn how to separate your dark clothes from your lights … banned! All banned. Everything is banned.

Indeed campaign group Action on Sugar has called for “freakshakes”—large milkshakes topped with chocolate, cookies, sweets, or whipped cream—that contain over 300 calories to be banned. As the BBC reports, the anti-sugar group surveyed milkshakes sold in UK restaurants and cafes, and discovered that many had “grotesque levels of sugar and calories.”

Analysing the nutritional value of 46 milkshakes sold across the country, Action on Sugar found that many contained more than half an adult’s daily allowance of calories. In one instance, the “Unicorn Milkshake” at Toby Carvery, a restaurant chain specialising in roast dinners, contained 1,280 calories—equivalent to 39 teaspoons of sugar.

Action on Sugar, whose members are “specialists concerned with sugar and its effects on health” according to its website, is also calling for mandatory traffic light nutrition labelling on restaurant and cafe menus.

Public Health England (PHE), a government body spearheading a campaign against childhood obesity, told MUNCHIES it supported the call to make the public more aware of freakshakes’ sugar content.

“Milkshakes can contain significant amounts of sugar—consuming too much sugar contributes to children leaving primary school overweight or obese, and suffering with tooth decay,” Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, explained over email.

“The food and drink industry—including restaurants, manufacturers, and retailers—has a key role in helping to tackle this by reducing the amount of sugar we buy and consume, and we hope to see them step up to the challenge.”

Look—those absurdly ginormous milkshakes piled high with chocolate flakes, 14 Galaxy bars, and a small black forest gateaux are weird, gross, and structurally unsound. Clearly, no one who values their time on this earth should be consuming them on a regular basis. But banning freakshakes, as with banning anything, is often a futile step fails to tackle the real issue—in this case, obesity. I mean, for a society in which it is legal to buy an unlimited number of cigarettes—something that is scientifically proven to give you cancer—it would be a strange move to then ban the comparatively wholesome milkshake, no matter how sickly sweet it can be.

Can’t we all just have a bit of fun on this godforsaken planet before we all burn to death?