Chocolate bars may have more calories than a McDonald’s burger, a revealing audit shows.
MailOnline assessed the nutritional content of almost 100 varieties, including those made by Cadbury’s, Mars and Nestlé.
The worst offenders contained almost 380 calories.
For comparison, a cheeseburger sold by the fast food giant has around 300.
Chocolate bars can also contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar, three more than the total recommended daily intake for an adult.
Campaigners warned that the bars, which are often consumed in a meal alongside high-calorie sandwiches and fizzy drinks, contain “unnecessary” amounts of sugar, which manufacturers then “misleadingly underestimate.”
Extra-large chocolate packages are the most caloric, and the most offensive chocolate bars contain more than 370 calories per package.
Your browser does not support iframes.
Experts have long warned about the health risks of consistently eating too much sugar, as it can lead to weight gain and its subsequent effects.
Our audit looked at the UK’s most popular supermarket offerings, which range in size from 30g to 75g. The ones with the most calories tended to be some of the largest.
The Twix Xtra white chocolate bar contains 376 calories, making it the highest in calories.
Following closely behind are the milk chocolate and salted caramel varieties, which have 370 and 368, respectively.
In comparison, that figure is only slightly less than twoor Original Glazed Krispy Kreme Donuts (390).
Cadbury’s Double Decker Duo (342), Yorkie Raisin and Biscuit Duo (336) and Cadbury Wispa Gold Chocolate Duo (336) are also among the highest in calories.
SYMPTOMS OF CAVIES AND HOW TO PREVENT THEM
Eating too many sugary foods and drinks can lead to cavities. It is important to see a dentist as soon as possible if you think your child has cavities.
It is caused by the buildup of a sticky layer of bacteria called plaque. Over time, this damages the surface of the teeth.
- A hole forms in the tooth.
- A sharp pain in the teeth when eating or drinking hot, cold or sweet things.
- White, brown or black spots on the tooth
How to prevent it:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Use dental floss or interdental brushes to clean between your teeth every day.
- Get regular dental checkups
Source: National Health Service
KitKat Chunky Duo (330), Cadbury’s Boost Duo (324), M&S Swiss Blond Chocolate (229) and Maltesers Kingsize (294) complete the top 10.
For context, the average woman is recommended to consume about 2,000 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight, while men are recommended 2,500.
Eating more calories than you burn will cause you to gain weight over time. Six in 10 adults and four in 10 children are overweight or obese, figures suggest.
Being fat can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke, as well as mental health problems.
But chocolate fans don’t just have to keep in mind the delicious calories to watch out for: They’re also packed with sugar.
Cadbury’s Double Decker Duo is 40g, equivalent to 10 teaspoons or three and a half Krispy Kreme Original Glazed donuts (12g).
Yorkie Raisin and Biscuit Duo (38.8 g), all three varieties Twix Xtra (36 g) and Cadbury Wispa Gold Duo (34 g) are also among the most sugary.
Health chiefs recommend consuming no more than 30g of free sugars (those added to foods or drinks) a day, as too much over time can cause cavities and weight gain.
Dr Kawther Hashem, Action on Sugar campaign leader, said: ‘It’s no surprise that chocolate bars contain sugars and calories.
“However, 10 teaspoons of sugar per packet, 3 teaspoons more than the maximum recommended daily intake for an adult, is unnecessary.”
He warned that consumers may not realize how many calories and sugar they are consuming as the figures are “misleadingly understated” by companies, which often print nutritional information per half a packet.
“Many are also sold as part of a meal deal, which could include a soft drink, adding more sugar to the eating occasion,” Dr Hashem said.
For example, combining a KitKat Chunky Duo with Coca-Cola would mean that one meal contains almost 60g of sugar and 430 calories before even adding the main dish.
Dr. Hashem wants food and beverage companies to reduce sugar, salt, saturated fat and calories in their products.
He said: “With two-thirds of adults in the UK now living overweight and obese, one in three suffering from tooth decay and the NHS under pressure, the Government must now put the health of the nation first.”
‘This includes continuing price promotion restrictions on unhealthy foods and introducing levies that have successfully incentivized food companies to reduce sugar, salt, saturated fat and calories in their products.
“Doing so will create a much-needed level playing field for the food and beverage industry and create better access to healthier foods for all.”
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a “world-leading” anti-obesity plan in 2020, inspired in part by how his own weight had put him at greater risk of becoming seriously ill when he contracted Covid.
However, his government avoided the more radical proposals put forward by the then food tsar and Leon founder Henry Dimbleby, such as taxes on salt and sugar, after it was calculated that the proposals could add £60 to the each person’s annual food bill.
The proposals that survived – a ban on buy one get one free advertising for unhealthy snacks and junk food before 9pm – have been delayed until October 2025 by Rishi Sunak.
WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE?
Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains, according to the NHS.
• Eat at least 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried, and canned fruits and vegetables count
• Base meals are based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains.
• 30 grams of fiber per day: This is equivalent to eating all of the following: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 whole grain crackers, 2 thick slices of whole wheat bread, and one large baked potato with skin.
• Eat some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soy drinks) by choosing low-fat, low-sugar options.
• Eat some beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 servings of fish each week, one of which should be fatty).
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume them in small amounts
• Drink 6 to 8 cups/glasses of water a day
• Adults should consume less than 6 g of salt and 20 g of saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day.
Fountain: NHS Eatwell Guide