Monday, January 17, 2011

Starbucks Trenta - Portions Gone Crazy!

(c) 2011, Kathy Fannon (My favorite mug! A 10 oz, not a Trenta.)

I’m writing with a little irritation and my jaw on the floor. I just saw a tweet from the Starbuck’s company announcing their “Trenta” size, a 31 ounce cup for iced coffee or iced tea. Are you kidding me?

This is another assault on portion size in America.

There is an obesity epidemic in America. Eighty percent of adults are either obese or overweight.

Children have Type 2 Diabetes. That used to be called “adult on-set” because only middle aged, sedentary adults got it. Now it is an epidemic among elementary and teenaged children.

I believe it is irresponsible for food corporations to continue to offer larger and larger portions of their products. I understand that we have the choice as to whether or not we’re going to Bubba-size our meal. Individuals make the choice whether to clean their whole plate at that fancy Italian place, or take half home for another meal.

It’s not the fault of Golden Arches that their target market has become obese. But have you been to one of their new restaurants? There is a huge amount of space between the back of the seat and the table. I can only assume it’s to make room for their average customer to comfortably sit.

When I talk to people about the way they eat a phrase that keeps coming up is “all things in moderation”. But what is moderation? Our portion sizes have gotten so out of control we don’t know what normal is anymore. If people truly ate in moderation, why do we have an obesity epidemic?

I’m also concerned for the amount of caffeine we, as Americans, are consuming. I drink coffee every morning, so I’m not pointing fingers at coffee drinkers. But the amount of coffee we drink is out of control. (As is all caffeinated beverages.)

Caffeine wreaks havoc on our body. It will throw off the adrenal glands, which will lead to progesterone levels being out of whack and that will lead to osteoporosis.

Yes, drinking coffee can contribute to osteoporosis.

I don’t think having coffee on occasion would be a big deal, but it’s when people get the Venti or the new Trenta at Starbucks, or any other coffee shop, on a regular basis, that problems begin.

Did you know your first cup of coffee for the day isn’t really providing energy as much as it is inducing the “fight or flight” response? This originates with just 100–200 mg of caffeine, less than one short cup of Starbucks drip coffee!* (And now they want to give us Trenta?)

Stressed adrenals can lead to weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, fuzzy thinking, depression, cravings and mood swings. And what do you do when you experience these symptoms? Get a cup of coffee to “wake up”. But when the adrenals become depleted, it can lead to adrenal exhaustion and much more serious health concerns.

So please, dear coffee and caffeine drinker, consider your portion size if you must consume these beverages.  Your health depends on it…even your life.

*Here’s a great article on how caffeine affects your adrenals.  I HIGHLY recommend you take a few minutes to read it, especially women!