Medical experts warn that bumping up portions, as with Starbucks’ new “trenta,” is not a good trend
MELROSE PARK, Ill. â When youâre ordering the new Starbucks âtrentaâ iced coffee, youâre not only getting a massive drink (31 ounces) but massive calories (230 calories using whole milk and sweetener) â with the corresponding potential to pack on more than 20 extra pounds in one year. âAn extra 200 calories per day will lead to a potential weight gain of about 2 pounds per month, or potentially 21 pounds per year,â said Jessica Bartfield, MD, internal medicine and medical weight-loss specialist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of the Loyola University Health System. According to the Starbucks Web site, a "trenta" plain iced coffee, with sweetener, has the following: â¢ with non-fat milk - 190 calories â¢ with 2% milk or soy milk - 220 calories â¢ with whole milk - 230 calories A normal cup of coffee is considered to be 6 to 8 ounces, and studies have suggested that one to two cups of caffeinated coffee daily can have health benefits. âThe new âtrentaâ will offer four to five cups of coffee in one serving and, unfortunately, the additional caffeine will not âburn offâ the excess calories,â Dr. Bartfield said. âPeople need to recognize that drinks are not necessarily innocent ways to quench our thirst, boost our energy, or satisfy a sweet tooth,â she said. âDrinks are rather sneaky sources, usually, of empty calories â nutritionally deplete.â Gottlieb offers a medically supervised weight-loss program involving physicians, nutritionists, exercise physiologists and behavioralists to establish positive lifestyle habits that lead to achieving a healthy weight. âIncreasing sizes of food or beverages potentially distorts our perception of portion size and makes it difficult to respond to our bodyâs natural cues of being hungry or thirsty or full,â said Courtney Burtscher, a clinical psychologist who runs the monthly behavior management group as part of Loyolaâs weight-loss program. People will sometimes use external cues to decide when to eat and when to stop. Cues can include the following: when others are eating, when the television show they are watching goes to commercial or is over and when their portion is gone.â According to Dr. Burtscher, factors that contribute to how much people eat may include: â¢ generational âMy parents taught me to clean my plate and not waste food.â â¢ relational âFeelings will be hurt if I donât finish what they made/gave me.â â¢ economical âThis is such a good deal â more bang for my buck.â â¢ convenience âIâm in a rush and need it now.â â¢ emotional âA bowl of ice cream will help me forget this terrible day.â
âMassive amounts of food and drink should not be promoted to American consumers when the majority of our population is overweight or obese,â Dr. Bartfield said. Both doctors believe that taking personal responsibility for our health is important. âKnowing our own body and our own nutritional needs is an important part of eating healthily and of taking care of ourselves,â Dr. Burtscher said. âSelf awareness decreases the possibility of using external cues such as price, size or othersâ behaviors, and can lead to behavior change and successful eating habits.â INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY On Thursday, Jan. 27, Dr. Jessica Bartfield will be at a community womenâs wellness event in Oak Park from 6:30 to 9 p.m. offering nutrition and health information along with a dozen other physicians. The event will be held at the Cheney Mansion, 220 N. Euclid Ave, Oak Park. Please contact Stasia Thompson at (708) 417-5036 if you are interested in an interview with Dr. Bartfield or Dr. Burtscher or plan to attend.